On the 2nd of November in Washington D.C, the Environmental Protection Agency proposed new groundbreaking regulations, which will help to significantly reduce levels of methane and other harmful emissions from oil and gas operations. Due to these new measures, it is predicted that harmful methane emissions should fall by 74% by 2030 in comparison to 2005 levels.
The new process will include more frequent inspections and repairs of methane gas leaks, using some of the best operational technology available, which will help to reduce the harmful gases methane produces and help to protect the environment and public health. In addition the EPA will also make it a requirement that most oil and gas operators to use special cameras and equipment, which will help invisible gas leaks be identified and repaired in a timely manner. As well as the new process being beneficial in both of these areas, it will also help the US take further strides of progress towards the Paris Climate Agreement.
Methane gas can be up to 80 times more potent than carbon dioxide over a twenty year period, therefore even a little can do a lot of damage. It is often leaked during oil and gas extraction, therefore these sites will be monitored closely.
These new regulations are certainly a leap in the right direction, with mandatory rules obligating companies to play their role in reducing their carbon footprint. The government hopes it will help to curb emissions by cutting an estimated 41 million tons of methane by the year 2035, which is the equivalent to removing 200 million cars off the roads for a year.