Obama announces plans to tackle methane emissions

January 19, 2015

President Obama recently announced plans to drastically reduce methane emissions nationally over the next decade by targeting the oil and gas industry. The goal is to cut methane emissions from oil and gas by as much as 45% by 2025. The levels will be compared to data recorded in 2012. 

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is expected to rollout the regulations this summer, and finalize the plan by 2016. This is a win for environmental groups who have long demanded that White House officials do more to curb methane emissions. The oil and gas industry, however, having seen unprecedented growth over the past 10 years, believes the new rules would stonewall progress. 

Thomas Pyle, president of the American Energy Alliance, which advocates for the fossil fuel industry, commented on the proposal, saying, "Energy producers are already reducing methane emissions because methane is a valuable commodity. It would be like issuing regulations forcing ice cream makers to spill less ice cream." He called the proposed regulations "redundant, costly and unnecessary."

Methane pollution has already been reduced by more than 16 percent by elective programs. Energy analysts claim that Obama's new rules have created a solution for a problem that does not exist.

Methane emissions from the oil and gas industry's work are expected to increase in the future as hydraulic fracturing becomes more commonplace. However, the President's rules will only apply to new facilities, allowing existing companies to carry on with voluntary methane reduction standards. 

The White House has not yet released a cost estimate for these proposed regulations. 

Environmental consultants can aid oil and gas companies address air quality issues, offering preventative strategies, as well as solutions to correct any problems that may arise.