April 1, 2016
On March 10, 2016 the Obama administration announced its first step toward regulating methane emissions from hundreds of thousands of oil and natural-gas wells across the U.S., drawing pushback from an industry battered by cheap oil and cheers from environmentalists according to a Wall Street Journal report.
The administration made the announcement in coordination with Canada, which is taking similar actions. The U.S. and Canada will commit to cut methane emissions from oil and gas by between 40% and 45% below 2012 levels by 2025, a commitment the Obama administration has previously made.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is already working on rules cutting methane emissions from oil and gas wells not yet drilled, will begin devising regulations for existing wells and aims to release in April draft requirements for companies to provide information about equipment, emissions and control technologies from a broad range of oil and gas activities, including production, transmission, processing and storage, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy said.
The step, being taken under the Clean Air Act, indicates the agency is preparing to write a regulation that is likely to affect hundreds of thousands of existing wells across the U.S.
The EPA is unlikely to complete a regulation before Mr. Obama leaves office at the end of 2016. Any proposal the EPA issues would likely stay on track if a Democrat wins the White House, while a Republican administration would likely withdraw it. Ms. McCarthy wouldn’t say whether the EPA would propose a rule before Mr. Obama leaves office.
EPA’s announcement is the latest step in a broader effort to clamp down on domestic greenhouse-gas emissions and show the U.S. is moving to address a global deal on climate change that roughly 200 nations agreed to late last year.
What this means to you
The Obama administration has announced its first step toward regulating methane emissions from hundreds of thousands of existing U.S. oil and natural-gas wells.
MIRATECH can help
Contact MIRATECH to learn about stationary engine emission controls.