(The Hill) — President Biden is expected to announce a proposal for stronger regulations on the oil and gas sector aimed at controlling emissions of a planet-warming gas called methane.
The stronger methane regulations are part of a slew of climate-related actions that Biden is expected to announce during his trip to the COP27 global climate summit in Egypt.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) projects that in 2030, the requirements would cut 87% of methane emissions from the pollution sources that it regulates when compared to 2005 levels.
The proposal strengthens a Biden administration proposal from last year that was expected to have cut methane emissions from regulated sources by 74% in 2030 compared to 2005 levels.
The EPA press release says that taken together, its two methane proposals would reduce about 36 million tons of methane emissions between 2023 and 2035, which it said is nearly the planet-warming equivalent of greenhouse gases emitted from all of the country’s coal-fired power plants in 2020.
Methane, like carbon dioxide, is a greenhouse gas that warms the planet. Methane has a shorter lifespan than carbon dioxide but is more than 25 times as potent.
Among the new provisions is the creation of what’s being called a “super-emitter response program” that would require oil and gas operators to respond to credible reports of large methane leaks.
The rule is one of several announcements that Biden is expected to highlight.
The U.S., with the European Union, Japan, Canada, Norway and the United Kingdom, is expected to announce a joint declaration to minimize a practice of burning off excess gas called flaring during fuel production – and also to minimize methane and carbon dioxide emissions in fossil energy.
Biden is also expected to give additional U.S. funds to help developing nations adapt to climate change’s impacts. Specifically, he’ll double the country’s pledge to the adaptation fund, adding an additional $50 million to his prior pledge and will also announce $150 million for adaptation initiatives in Africa.