US Targets Oil and Gas in Crackdown on Methane

At the center of the U.S. plan is an EPA proposal that will for the first time regulate methane from existing oil and gas operations. Oil and gas operations account for a third of methane emissions.

Valerie Volcovici and Nichola Groom, Reuters

The Biden administration on Nov. 2 unveiled a plan to slash emissions of the greenhouse-gas methane across the country, starting with oil and gas wells, pipelines and other infrastructure as part of its broader strategy to crack down on climate change.

The announcement of the U.S. Methane Emissions Reduction Plan coincides with the U.N. climate conference in Glasgow, Scotland, where the U.S., the world’s second-largest greenhouse-gas emitter, is seeking to reclaim leadership on the world stage by demonstrating tangible steps to curb emissions at home.

President Joe Biden has set a target to slash greenhouse gas emissions by more than 50% by 2030 but is struggling to pass major pieces of climate legislation through a deeply divided Congress, making policies by federal agencies more crucial. His administration and the EU are also seeking to lead a new international pact to reduce methane by 30% by 2030, drawing participation from some 90 countries.

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