Column: EPA Taking Steps To Cut Methane Emissions From Existing Oil and Gas Sources
Today (10 March), as part of the Obama Administration’s ongoing commitment to act on climate, President Barack Obama and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau committed to new actions to reduce methane pollution from the oil and natural gas sector, the world’s largest industrial source of methane. These actions build on the historic agreement that nearly 200 nations made in Paris last December to combat climate change and ensure a more stable environment for future generations.
Methane is upward of 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide in warming the planet and is a key constituent of natural gas. By tackling methane emissions, we can unlock an amazing opportunity to spur US action to protect our environment but also unleash opportunities to think creatively and lead the world in developing a clean energy economy.
That’s why the Administration has been moving quickly and working hard to reduce emissions of this potent greenhouse gas. In 2012, we set emissions standards that cut pollution, including methane, emitted by fractured and refractured natural gas wells. This past summer, we proposed standards to directly address methane from new and modified sources in the oil and gas sector. Each of these steps moves the United States toward our goal of cutting methane emissions from the oil and gas sector by 40 to 45% below 2012 levels by 2025.