Friday, March 3, 2017

EPA Withdraws "Unnecessary and Onerous" Methane Rule


Global methane emissions from oil production between 1980 and 2012 were far higher than previously thought – in some cases, as much as double the amount previously estimated, according to a new scientific study
The EPA will not require oil and gas producers to provide information on methane emissions at drilling sites, withdrawing a late Obama-era request that was meant to be a first step in a larger crackdown on methane emissions. The EPA withdrew the request a day after receiving a letter from 11 state attorneys general  - including Scott Pruitt's successor in Oklahoma - alleging that the request amounted to "harassment" of fossil fuel companies and asking the EPA to withdraw the "unnecessary and onerous burden" on oil and gas producers. Methane regulations may come under friendly fire during the administration's budgetary bloodbath as well: a source tells Reuters that the EPA's budget plan currently includes a 70 percent budget reduction in a climate program intended to reduce "emissions of greenhouse gases like methane."

Methane is a potent greenhouse gas − the most important contributor to climate change after carbon dioxide. There is now international agreement that methane is 34 times more potent than CO2 over a century, but 84 times more over a much shorter timespan – just 20 years.

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