The Obama Administration said Friday it is targeting the oil and gas industry among others to reduce emissions of methane, a gas blamed for global warming.
The White House is reportedly going to ask for voluntary cooperation from oil and gas firms.
It is also seeking help from companies in other segments responsible for high methane production, including cattle and diary farming, coal mining, and landfills.
The voluntary program doesn’t involve Congress.
It is part of the Obama Administration’s Climate Action Plan announced last June.
A press release from the White House said, “Taking action to curb methane waste and pollution is important because emissions of methane make up nearly 9 percent of all the greenhouse gas emitted as a result of human activity in the United States.”
Oil and gas companies will be asked to reduce methane emissions “through voluntary programs and targeted regulations, [and] the Administration will take new actions to encourage additional cost-effective reductions,” the White House said.
No specific actions to be taken by oil and gas companies were announced.
The “EPA will solicit expert studies on potential methane sources, and it will work with the oil and gas industries to expand ‘voluntary efforts’ to reduce emissions,” the Administration said.
The Bureau of Land Management is expected to propose new rules to reduce venting and flaring on federal and tribal land, according to the announcement.
The American Petroleum Institute opposes the BLM measures and wants gas flaring to be decided by market forces.
Fred Krupp, President of the Environmental Defense Fund, said “Methane pollution is an intense contributor to global climate change, and the White House methane strategy is a smart roadmap for taking on the biggest sources of emissions, including natural gas leaks from the oil and gas sector.”
In February, Colorado imposed the country’s toughest air pollution rules on the oil and gas industry.
It became the first state to regulate emissions of methane gas.
The Colorado Oil and Gas Association and the Colorado Petroleum Association opposed the measure.
But Anadarko Petroleum, Noble Energy and Encana supported the new rules.