Skip to content

Biden Methane Crackdown Is Likely to Stop Short of Ban on Flaring

  • EPA set to propose first-ever methane curbs for older wells
  • Measure is still most consequential action to cut emissions
"Flaring Event" At Exxon Mobil's Torrance Refinery

Photographer: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg

Updated on

The Biden administration is poised to unveil a crackdown on methane leaks from oil and gas wells that will be its most consequential action yet to reduce greenhouse gases -- but is still likely to disappoint climate activists.

The Environmental Protection Agency is expected within days to propose requirements for plugging leaks at hundreds of thousands of oil and gas wells, according to people familiar with the drafted proposals. Yet the agency is expected to stop short of an outright ban on “flaring,” the burning off of excess natural gas, said the people. Flaring is a major source of climate-warming emissions.