Friday, March 11, 2016

EPA expands methane rules to all oil and gas wells

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is expanding its crackdown on methane emissions from oil and natural gas drilling to all existing wells. The announcement from the White House Thursday came as part of a joint agreement with Canada on climate change, curbing methane emissions from North America and taking steps to protect the Arctic region from rising temperatures and oceans. The EPA had announced plans to cut methane emissions from new oil and gas wells last year. But if the United States was to reach the goal set out by President Obama of cutting methane emissions at least 40 percent by 2025, existing wells have to be included, said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. “Based on this growing body of science it’s become clear it’s come time for EPA to take additional action,” she said in a press conference. “We’ll start this work immediately and we intend to work quickly.” The announcement came ahead of Obama’s meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at the White House Thursday, where the two were expected to discuss how the countries could work together in meeting the goal agreed to by the leaders of close to 200 countries in Paris last year – not allowing the world temperature to rise more than 2 degrees Celsius...more

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