Trump administration moves to roll back greenhouse gas rules on methane

Trump administration moves to roll back greenhouse gas rules on methane”

The Environmental Protection Agency's move would be the latest in a series by the administration easing Obama-era emissions controls on the oil, gas and coal industries, including from methane leaks.

Critics also questioned the administration's assertion that industry will voluntarily self-regulate in the absence of the mandate.

The group representing Canada's oil and gas industry says a US proposal to ease regulations aimed at cutting methane emissions will create another competitive advantage for American producers.

What a responsible presidential administration would do is build on that progress, while also looking for ways to tackle methane in the agricultural sector, where emissions have actually gone up since 1990, according to the EPA.

ERIK MILITO: The industry itself has taken this very seriously every incentive to capture and reduce methane emissions because it's the product we sell.

"Fracked gas is a climate killer, and it's clear that simply reinstating the methane rule won't be enough to stave off catastrophe", Siegel said. That's because natural gas has become a bigger business for those companies. EPA says methane is more than 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide in how much warming it can contribute to the atmosphere over time. The EPA regulation-which required oil producers to implement a range of measures to stop natural gas leaks at new drilling sites, keeping methane from entering the atmosphere-posed little threat to big oil-and-gas firms, which could easily absorb the compliance costs necessitated by the 2016 rule.

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Methane is the main ingredient in natural gas. In 2017 former EPA administrator Scott Pruitt imposed a moratorium on enforcement of parts of the rule.

"Shell remains committed to achieving our target of maintaining methane emissions intensity below 0.2% by 2025 for all operated assets globally".

Royal Dutch Shell has long supported the direct regulation of methane and urged the administration earlier this year to write a rule regulating existing sources of methane emissions.

While environmental groups pointed to the long-term regulatory impact on methane overall, the oil industry said the direct immediate effect for methane emissions would be negligible. The first would scrap New Source Performance Standards for emissions of methane and other volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from oil and gas transmission and storage infrastructure and remove methane limits for oil and gas production and processing equipment. "The wealth is under its feet", he said, praising oil and gas production.

Like numerous administration's proposals the rule is expected to face legal challenges from environmental groups that slammed the proposed rule, saying it gives the oil and gas industry a free pass and negates the argument that natural gas is a cleaner source of energy than other fossil fuels.

The rule change will be open to public comment for sixty days from time of publication in the Federal Register.

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