EPA ruling cuts methane waste from oil and gas operations

Home » News & Media » EPA ruling cuts methane waste from oil and gas operations

EPA ruling cuts methane waste from oil and gas operations

Date: 12/04/2023     Category: News & Media     Author: Leigh Reagan Smith     Publication: Buckrail    

Original Post ➡️

Aerial of Jonah Gas Field in Sublette County, Wy. Photo: EcoFlight

UNITED STATES — On Saturday, Dec. 2, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a final rule to reduce methane and other harmful air pollutants by detecting and repairing new and existing sources in the oil and natural gas industry nationwide.

The rule is predicted to create economic and public health benefits for Wyomingites, according to the Wyoming Outdoor Council. New emissions standards will encourage technological innovation and spur job growth in methane mitigation. Reducing methane emissions will also improve air quality, since the same leak detection practices used to reduce methane will also reduce harmful air pollutants such as volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

Addressing methane waste by plugging leaky equipment is estimated to be a cost-effective tool for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. A recent analysis by Taxpayers for Common Sense and the Environmental Defense Fund found that operators wasted $500 million in gas on U.S. public and Tribal lands in 2019.

“EPA’s new standard to curb leaks of methane and other harmful pollutants from oil and gas operations is welcome news for protecting our health, our environment and Wyoming’s open spaces,” Director of Energy and Climate Policy at the Wyoming Outdoor Council John Burrows said. “This final rule builds off of Wyoming’s own successes in reducing harmful emissions and will limit wasted methane from leak-prone equipment. We see this rule as essential for spurring future innovation, saving taxpayer dollars and for creating a level playing field for methane regulation across the oil and gas industry.”