EPA to Propose Methane Emission Cuts for Oil and Gas Industry

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will announce on Tuesday proposed regulations to curb emissions from the nation’s oil and natural gas industry, according to the American Petroleum Institute’s regulatory chief.

EPA will issue three proposed rules affecting methane emissions from sources including new hydraulically fractured wells, Howard Feldman, senior director of regulatory and scientific affairs at the Washington-based API, said by phone. EPA spokeswoman Liz Purchia declined to comment. Feldman said he was briefed by people outside of the EPA with direct knowledge of the plan and announcement, which were first reported by the Wall Street Journal.

President Barack Obama’s administration is pursuing a broad regulatory effort to curb greenhouse-gas emissions from sources including power plants, refineries and automobiles. The agency announced in January that it would propose rules to cut emissions of methane, the primary component of natural gas, by as much as 45 percent by 2025.

Methane accounted for about 9 percent of U.S. greenhouse-gas emissions in 2012, according to the EPA. Environmental groups have called for federal action to reduce methane seepage from oil and gas pipes, pumps and storage tanks. The industry has sought voluntary measures, saying methane emissions are already in decline.

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