The US Government has announced new steps to cut methane emissions in the oil and gas sector.
The Environment Protection Agency’s (EPA) rule will cut emissions from new, modified and reconstructed oil and gas sources including hydraulically fractured oil wells and equipment used across the industry.
It expects to reduce 510,00 short tonnes of methane by 2025 – equivalent to 11 million metric tonnes of CO2.
Methane is the second most prevalent greenhouse gas emitted in the US from human activities and nearly one-third of those emissions comes from oil production as well as the production, transmission and distribution of natural gas, EPA stated.
The new regulations are part of President Barack Obama’s Climate Action Plan to reduce methane emissions and achieve its goal of cutting them from the oil and gas sector by 45%.
EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy said: “Today, we are underscoring the Administration’s commitment to finding commonsense ways to cut methane—a potent greenhouse gas fueling climate change—and other harmful pollution from the oil and gas sector.
“Together these new actions will protect public health and reduce pollution linked to cancer and other serious health effects while allowing industry to continue to grow and provide a vital source of energy for Americans across the country.”