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Pennsylvania Nears Approval of New Oil And Gas Methane Rule

  • Latest version makes slight change for low-producing wells
  • Rule falls short of other state methane regulations, EDF says
General Economic Imagery From North Dakota Ahead Of The Republican Caucus

Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg

Pennsylvania is in the final stages of approving a new rule that would crack down on methane emissions from older oil and gas infrastructure, while exempting a vast number of low-producing wells. 

The rule would be a significant change for producers in the state, which is the second-largest natural gas producer in the U.S., responsible for about one-fifth of the country’s gas output in 2020, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. While many states have imposed methane limits on new wells, Pennsylvania is joining only a handful, including Colorado and New Mexico, that have restrictions on older wells. Those can be a major source of emissions relative to their production. Texas, the largest gas producer, has no methane limits at all.