Thursday, April 20, 2017

At request of oil and gas industry, EPA will review Obama administration methane-emission rules

In response to a petition from oil and gas industry groups, the Environmental Protection Agency announced plans to "reconsider Clean Air Act regulations that directly limit emissions of methane, a potent greenhouse gas," Hannah Hess reports for Greenwire. The Texas Oil and Gas Association, the American Petroleum Institute and other industry groups "criticized the potential costs of the regulations and called them unnecessary."

"Environmentalists argue that the regulations played a vital role in falling rates of methane emissions during the Obama administration," Hess writes. "EPA actions against methane were a key part of the Obama administration's goal of lowering emissions from the oil and gas industry between 40 and 45 percent by 2025 compared with 2012 levels." The rule was set to go into effect on June 3.

In May 2016, Coral Davenport of The New York Times wrote: "EPA estimates that the rules will cost companies around $530 million in 2025, but it also estimates that they will yield companies savings of as much as $690 million from reduced waste, a potential net benefit of $160 million. The agency said the regulations would lower methane emissions by 510,000 tons in 2025, the equivalent of 11 million metric tons of carbon dioxide."

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