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White House Sets Limits on Methane Emissions

Jan. 15, 2015

Administration looks to cut GHGs from oil, natural gas production.

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.

  1. Set standards for methane emissions from new and modified sources
  2. New guidelines to help states cut VOC pollutants in existing sources
  3. Enhance leak detection and emissions reporting by updating the Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program
  4. Improve standards for production of oil and natural gas on public lands
  5. Create new natural gas pipeline safety standards
  6. Propose funding for the DOE to develop technology to reduce natural gas losses and improve the quantification of emissions
  7. Modernize natural gas transmission and distribution infrastructure
  8. Release a quadrennial energy review that focuses on needed policy actions to modernize energy infrastructure. 

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