Obama plans to further cut methane emissions

The Obama administration revealed an ambitious new goal to cut methane emissions from the oil and gas sector by 40-45 percent from 2012 levels by 2025.

Achieving this goal would save up to 180 billion cubic feet of wasted natural gas in 2025, enough to heat more than 2 million homes for an entire year.

To achieve this goal, a range of actions will be taken to tackle methane emissions throughout the oil and gas system. The Environmental Protection Agency will work with industry, states, tribes, and other stakeholders to propose common-sense standards to reduce methane emissions from new and modified oil and gas wells. The Department of Energy will continue to drive technological advancement through new energy efficiency standards for natural gas and air compressors and a proposed $25 million in funding to develop and demonstrate technologies to identify and reduce natural gas leaks. The Department of the Interior will ensure that the federal government is leading by example by updating outdated standards to reduce wasteful venting and flaring of natural gas from wells on public lands, stands in a statement from the White House.

Oil and gas companies can also choose to become power players in reducing harmful, wasteful methane emissions from existing sources. Voluntary efforts to reduce emissions by the oil and gas industry could realize significant reductions in a quick, flexible, cost-effective way. The Obama administration stands ready to work with companies, individually and through broader initiatives such as the One Future Initiative and the Downstream Initiative, to develop and verify robust commitments to reduce methane emissions throughout the oil and gas system, stands in the statement.

These actions on methane emissions are an important step to take on climate change, putting the United States on track to achieve President Obama’s goal of cutting net greenhouse gas emissions 26-28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025.

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Press Release; Image: whitehouse.gov

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