Subscribe to Breaking News emails

You have successfully subscribed to the Breaking News email.

Subscribe today to be the first to to know about breaking news and special reports.

White House Unveils Plan to Cut Methane From Oil, Gas Sector

/ Source: Reuters
Image: Weddell Sea
In the past 60 years, the ocean surface off Antarctica's shore became less salty as a result of melting glaciers and more precipitation.Eric Galbraith

Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.

WASHINGTON — The White House said on Friday it will take a hard look at whether new regulations are needed to cut emissions of methane from the oil and gas industry, part of President Barack Obama's plan to address climate change.

Regulators will start by proposing new rules later this year to reduce venting and flaring from oil and gas wells on public lands, said Dan Utech, Obama's top energy and climate aide.

The Environmental Protection Agency is going to study this year whether additional broader regulations are needed for methane emissions under the Clean Air Act, Utech told reporters. If the agency deems additional regulations are needed, those will be completed before Obama leaves the White House at the end of 2016.

Methane, a greenhouse gas far more potent than carbon dioxide, is the main component of natural gas. The largest U.S. industrial source of methane is oil and natural gas operations.

The methane plan was developed by the Environmental Protection Agency with input from the Departments of Energy, Transportation and Agriculture, John Podesta, an adviser to Obama, told reporters last week. He said then the plan was soon to be finalized.

In the first 20 years after it is released, methane is 84 times more potent than carbon dioxide in trapping more heat, scientists with the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change have said.

— Reuters

Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.
MORE FROM news