EPA Set To Regulate Oil and Gas Methane EmissionsSource: The Wall Street Journal | 21 January 2015
The Obama administration unveiled plans on 14 January to regulate methane emissions from the nation’s oil and natural-gas industry for the first time, a move aimed at meeting climate-change goals while not hampering the nation’s energy boom.
The Environmental Protection Agency plans to propose federal regulations to cut methane emissions from the oil and gas sector by 40 to 45% over the next decade from 2012 levels, White House and agency officials said.
The rules, scheduled to be proposed this summer and completed by 2016, would apply only to new or modified sites. For existing oil and gas operations, the EPA is set to rely mostly on voluntary measures to cut methane, a move backed by the industry.
To reduce emissions, companies would have to install technology that prevents methane from being inadvertently leaked and monitor their operations for possible leaks. Many companies are already using this kind of equipment, according to industry executives and the EPA.