EPA puts out regulations to cut methane emissions by 45%


The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will propose regulations on Tuesday aimed at cutting methane emissions from the oil and gas sector by up to 45 percent over the next decade from 2012 levels, sources familiar with the issue said on Monday.

The regulations on methane are one part of the Obama administration's strategy to curb greenhouse gases and combat climate change and come just two weeks after the president unveiled a sweeping rule to slash carbon emissions from the country’s power plants.

The proposal that will be unveiled on Tuesday aims to reduce oil and gas industry methane emissions by up to 45 percent from 2012 levels by 2025, a goal it first announced in January, one source said.

The rules are intended to put the United States on course to meet its pledge to the United Nations climate change talks to cut its greenhouse gas emissions 26-28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025.

EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy said in January that methane emissions are projected to rise by more than 25 percent by 2025 even though the industry has decreased methane emissions 16 percent since 1990. (by Valerie Volcovici; Writing by Mohammad Zargham; Editing by Peter Cooney and Ken Wills, Reuters)