As part of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan, the Administration has announced a goal to reduce methane emissions related to oil and natural gas production. While methane is the primary component of natural gas, it is also a greenhouse gas that traps 25 times the amount of heat as carbon dioxide and accounted for almost 10% of GHG emissions in 2012. The goal would reduce methane emissions related to the oil and natural gas sector by 40-45% as compared to 2012 levels by 2025.
The Administration notes eight steps they expect to take to reduce emissions while accounting for increased oil and natural gas production in the U.S.
- Set standards for methane emissions from new and modified sources
- New guidelines to help states cut VOC pollutants in existing sources
- Enhance leak detection and emissions reporting by updating the Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program
- Improve standards for production of oil and natural gas on public lands
- Create new natural gas pipeline safety standards
- Propose funding for the DOE to develop technology to reduce natural gas losses and improve the quantification of emissions
- Modernize natural gas transmission and distribution infrastructure
- Release a quadrennial energy review that focuses on needed policy actions to modernize energy infrastructure.