As Democrats thrash out their $3.5 billion budget plan, one element is causing particular anxiety in the oil and gas industry: a fee on methane emissions.

The idea of the fee—effectively a pollution tax—is to create a financial reason for companies to clamp down on the roughly 13 million tonnes of leaked gas that enters the atmosphere each year from across their supply chains.

But the industry is up in arms. The policy, it says, would raise production costs that would ultimately wind up on consumers’ bills—and risks unfairly hitting companies that have taken strides to cut emissions. In a letter this week, a group led by the American Petroleum Institute (API) described it as “unreasonable,” “punitive,” and “unnecessary.”

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