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Obama Gas Rules Set Table For Wide Emissions Cut, If Trump Loses

Clinton or Sanders would likely build on the new limits to regulate existing plants.

Oil-and-gas producers have a financial incentive to make sure methane isn't leaking from wells and pipelines. Yet methane has become a well-documented problem--and once it joins the atmosphere, scientists will tell you, it becomes a potent greenhouse gas, responsible for a quarter of the Earth's extra heat. 

Today the Obama administration issued rules requiring the industry to tighten up any new and renovated infrastructure. The move is a first step in realizing a goal the president first articulated in January 2015, when he pledged to cut U.S. methane emissions over a decade to 45 percent below 2012 levels. In addition to being good for the planet, the gas saved may be worth $100 million.