Home » Climate Change » US Presents Plan to Cut Methane Emissions in Oil and Gas Sector at COP 28
In an effort to tackle the urgent challenge of climate change, the US Presents Plan to Cut Methane Emissions in Oil and Gas Sector at COP 28. The Biden administration unveiled the final rules, a product of two years of planning and consultation, at the COP28 climate summit, demonstrating the U.S.’s commitment to a global effort to reduce methane emissions by 30% within the next decade.
Methane, while less discussed than carbon dioxide, is a critical target in climate change mitigation due to its high warming potential and shorter lifespan in the atmosphere. The new regulations aim to detect and prevent methane leakage, which is common in oil and gas production, thus having a quicker impact on climate stabilization.
The strategies laid out by the EPA include banning routine gas flaring, mandating rigorous leak detection at production sites, and establishing a third-party monitoring program to pinpoint significant methane releases. The expected outcome is a significant reduction of methane emissions, equivalent to the CO2 emissions from the entire U.S. power sector in 2021.
Vice President Kamala Harris highlighted the methane rules as evidence of America’s restored global leadership in climate action. These efforts are a clear signal of the country’s dedication to proactive environmental stewardship and addressing the climate crisis head-on.
Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham of New Mexico, whose state’s policies influenced the EPA’s rules, emphasized that these stringent methane regulations enhance the United States’ position to lead by example and inspire other nations to enact similar legislation.
Organizations like Earthjustice have praised the EPA’s new methane rules, recognizing their critical role in reducing climate pollution and protecting the health and safety of individuals living near oil and gas extraction sites.
Projected Benefits and Industry Compliance
The EPA projects that these new rules will not only contribute to environmental health but also yield substantial economic benefits, potentially saving billions in healthcare costs and recovered natural gas. Some adjustments from earlier draft proposals include giving industries more time to adapt to the new regulations and ensuring a transparent verification process for methane leak reporting.
Key industry stakeholders, including the American Petroleum Institute, Exxon, and BP, are reviewing the rules to ensure that they support effective emissions reduction while meeting the growing energy demand. Their responses indicate a cautious but constructive engagement with the new policies.
When the US Presents Plan to Cut Methane Emissions in Oil and Gas Sector at COP 28, it reinforces its resolve to address the pressing issue of climate change, with a clear focus on cutting methane emissions as a critical element of the broader environmental strategy.