EPA Proposing Tighter Levels of Greenhouse Gas Emissions


Now that the U.S. and China jointly agreed to meaningful reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, other nations heretofore hiding under inaction by the developed world will have to act as well.

The Obama Administration via the EPA today announced a new goal to cut greenhouse gases, specifically methane emissions from the oil and gas sector by 40% – 45% from 2012 levels by 2025. This ambitious goal is bound to be attacked by the oil industry and anti-environmental pressure groups as it already has been.

EPA will initiate a rulemaking effort to set standards for methane and VOC (volatile organic compounds)  emissions from new and modified oil and gas production sources, and natural gas processing and transmission sources. EPA will issue a proposed rule in the summer of 2015, and a final rule will follow in 2016.

“U.S. oil production is at the highest level in nearly 30 years, providing important energy security and economic benefits, said a White House release. “ The U.S. is also now the largest natural gas producer in the world, providing an abundant source of clean-burning fuel to power and heat American homes and businesses. Continuing to rely on these domestic energy resources is a critical element of the President’s energy strategy. At the same time, methane – the primary component of natural gas – is a potent greenhouse gas, with 25 times the heat-trapping potential of carbon dioxide over a 100-year period.”

Methane emissions accounted for nearly 10% of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions in 2012, with nearly 30% coming from the production, transmission, and distribution of oil and natural gas. Emissions from the oil and gas sector are down 16% since 1990. However, emissions from the oil and gas sector are projected to rise more than 25% by 2025 without additional steps to lower them.

“For these reasons, a strategy for cutting methane emissions from the oil and gas sector is an important component of efforts to address climate change,” the White House said

About Ken Zino

Ken Zino is an auto industry veteran with global experience in print, broadcast and electronic media. He has auto testing, marketing, public relations and communications expertise garnered while working in Asia, Europe and the U.S.
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1 Response to EPA Proposing Tighter Levels of Greenhouse Gas Emissions

  1. Friends of the Earth on Methane and fracking

    The EPA recently laid out its “strategy” to address methane emissions from the oil and gas industry. Unfortunately, this plan not only punts action down the road, but it would also be completely insufficient even if and when it does go into effect.

    Methane has a much larger warming effect than carbon dioxide, and thanks to the booming oil and gas industries, it is the fastest-growing source of greenhouse gas emissions. If the EPA doesn’t take strong action to regulate methane emissions now, the effect on our climate could be catastrophic.

    The EPA promised to propose a rule to address methane from the oil and gas industry by the fall of 2014 and once again it has failed to meet its deadline. Now, it’s claiming it will take action this summer. At this rate, who knows if we’ll even have a rule before the Obama administration leaves the White House?!

    But that’s not all. In addition to delaying the rule, the EPA has also sidestepped real action in the strategy they just laid out. It will completely ignore existing sources of methane even though they are far and away the biggest problems.

    What’s more, the EPA is going to continue using outdated data that contradicts international consensus on the warming impacts of methane, which underestimate the impacts of methane emissions. The result? We won’t achieve the emissions reductions we need.

    Demand that the EPA take bold action to address methane from both new and existing sources.

    While the EPA delays taking action, the country and the world are feeling more and more of the impacts of climate disruption. Our crops are being killed by droughts, sea level rise is hurting our coasts, and more intense hurricanes are destroying our communities.

    The oil and gas industry has succeeded in delaying and watering down the EPA’s plan to reduce methane emissions to protect their profits. We need to fight back by voicing our support for bold action that ensures our health and environment are protected.

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