Washington [US], December 3: The Biden administration on Saturday unveiled final rules aimed at cracking down on U.S. oil and gas industry releases of methane, part of a global plan to rein in emissions that contribute to climate change.
The rules, two years in the making, were announced by U.S. officials at the United Nations COP28 climate change conference in Dubai. The United States and other nations attending the summit are expected to detail how they will achieve a 150-country pledge made two years ago to slash methane emissions by 30% from 2020 levels by 2030.
Methane tends to leak into the atmosphere undetected from drill sites, gas pipelines and other oil and gas equipment. It has more warming potential than carbon dioxide and breaks down in the atmosphere faster, so reining in methane emissions can have a more immediate impact on limiting climate change.
"These new standards will help us meet our international commitments to aggressively tackle climate change, while improving air quality for communities all across the country," U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Michael Regan told a news conference in Dubai.
Vice President Kamala Harris cited the methane regulations among several U.S. initiatives to fight global warming and said they showed the Biden administration had restored the United States as a global leader in the fight against climate change.
"Today, we are demonstrating through action how the world can and must meet this crisis," Harris she told the conference.
EPA's new policies would ban routine flaring of natural gas produced by newly drilled oil wells, require oil companies to monitor for leaks from well sites and compressor stations and establishes a program to use third party remote sensing to detect large methane releases from so-called "super emitters," the agency said in a statement.
Source: Fijian Broadcasting Cooperation