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Climate Politics

Methane ‘Loophole’ Shows Risk of Gaming New US Climate Bill

Several energy companies have already adopted an unorthodox interpretation of EPA rules to slash their reported methane emissions.

A flare stack behind a barn in Chartiers Township, Pennsylvania.

A flare stack behind a barn in Chartiers Township, Pennsylvania.

Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

Range Resources Corp. claims to have one of the cleanest natural-gas operations in the US. Year after year, the western Pennsylvania shale pioneer reports a lower emissions rate for methane than virtually all its peers.

The landmark climate legislation that cleared the US Senate this week is meant to push more companies to be like Range. The bill would impose a first-of-its-kind fee on releases of the potent greenhouse gas from energy infrastructure.