Thursday, March 31, 2016

EPA unveils voluntary effort to reduce natural-gas industry's methane leaks, fight climate change

"The Obama administration on Wednesday announced a new partnership with 41 energy companies that have agreed to voluntarily reduce methane emissions from natural gas operations to help combat climate change," Michael Biesecker reports for The Associated Press. Gina McCarthy, head of the Environmental Protection Agency, said the voluntary program, called the Natural Gas STAR Methane Challenge Program, "is meant to protect public health and combat climate change while providing a platform for companies to report actions taken to reduce methane emissions. The announcement comes after the worst methane leak in the nation's history was finally plugged last month at an underground storage facility owned by Southern California Gas Co."

President Obama and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau earlier this month committed "to reducing methane emissions from the oil and gas sectors by at least 40 percent over the next decade, compared to 2012 levels," Biesecker writes. "Such reductions are seen as essential to achieving national targets for greenhouse gas reductions agreed to in December as part of the landmark climate accord reached in Paris. Republicans in Congress have opposed such measures, saying they will cost the U.S. economy jobs while doing little to reduce climate change."

No comments: