EPA Announces Ruling on Methane Pollution Standards - Smart Energy Decisions

GHG Emissions, Industrial, Regulation  -  December 6, 2023

EPA Announces Ruling on Methane Pollution Standards

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a ruling that serves to significantly cut methane and other harmful pollutants from the oil and natural gas industry, including those from hundreds of thousands of nationwide sources.

The ruling includes the promotion and utilization of new methane detection technologies and promises to deliver on economic and public health benefits.

The announcement was made at COP28 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE), by Administrator Michael S. Regan and President Biden’s National Climate Advisor Ali Zaidi.

“Under President Biden and Vice President Harris’s leadership, the U.S is turbocharging the speed and scale of climate action, at home and abroad, including our collective efforts to tackle super-pollutants like methane,” said Assistant to President Biden and U.S National Climate Advisor Ali Zaidi, in a statement. “Over just the last year, the Administration has taken over 100 actions to implement the U.S. Methane Emissions Reduction Action Plan — steps that cut pollution, promote public health, create thousands of jobs, and lower energy costs for Americans.”

EPA’s final rule calls upon the latest technologies to prevent an estimated 58 million tons of methane emissions from 2024 to 2038 – the equivalent of 1.5 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide. In 2030 alone, the expected reductions are equivalent to 130 million metric tons of carbon dioxide, which is more than the annual emissions from 28 million gasoline cars. 

Oil and natural gas operations are the United States’ biggest contributor of methane, a climate “super pollutant” that is much more potent than carbon dioxide. Methane is responsible for one-third of greenhouse gas emissions and curbing it is one of the most vital actions the Biden Administration can take in the fight against climate change.

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