White House Proposes Methane Cuts For Oil And Gas Industry

Jan 14, 2015

The White House released a new plan to curb methane emissions Wednesday. Methane is the main component of natural gas and a major contributor to climate change. The proposed rules target new oil and gas development and aim to reduce methane emissions 45 percent by 2025. In a press call, Jeremy Symons, climate director for the Environmental Defense Fund, said that reducing methane emissions is a cost-effective way to prevent climate change.

“The amount of pollution coming from methane in the oil and gas sector is equivalent to the CO2 -- the carbon emissions -- from 180 coal-fired power plants,” he said.

Colorado and Wyoming already have some regulations in place that overlap with the proposal. John Robitaille, vice-president of the Petroleum Association of Wyoming, says as far as he can tell, Wyoming producers would be largely unaffected by the rule. 

“I believe that Wyoming is in the forefront of protecting our air quality and I believe that the EPA is catching up to Wyoming,” he said.

The White House says it will release a draft version of the rules this summer and finalize them in 2016.