TitleNew EPA rules slash methane emissions from oil production
BodyThe Obama administration announced rules Thursday to require the oil and gas industry to slash methane emissions on the way to its goal of reducing greenhouses gases in the sector by nearly half by 2025. The Environmental Protection Agency announced the final rule as part of the administration's Climate Action Plan, aimed at taking steps that will slow global warming. “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,” said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy in a statement. “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.” The new rules drew strong objections from the oil industry. The American Petroleum Institute blasted the new regulations as endangering the shale energy boom that is leading to America's energy independence by discouraging production. "The last thing we need is more duplicative and costly regulation that could discourage natural gas production, disrupt our progress reducing emissions, and increase the cost of energy for American consumers," said Kyle Isakower, API's vice president of regulatory and economic policy. But the move was widely applauded by environmentalists. "In taking this important first step, the EPA and the Obama Administration are rejecting the status quo that has allowed the oil and gas industry to recklessly pollute communities around the country for so long." says Sierra Club President Michael Brune, in a statement. The EPA says methane has 25 times more global warming potential than than carbon dioxide when it comes to greenhouse gases and is a key component of natural gas. It says about a third of methane discharges come from oil and gas production. EPA says it received 900,000 comments leading up to rule.
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