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EPA to develop regulations for methane emissions from existing oil and gas wells; ICR coming in April

10 March 2016

The US EPA will begin developing regulations for methane emissions from existing oil and gas sources—e.g., oil and gas wells. The agency announced plans to cut methane emissions from new oil and gas wells last year. (Earlier post.)

The expanded regulatory scope comes in support of the newly announced commitment by President Barack Obama and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to new actions to reduce methane emissions from the oil and natural gas sector, the largest industrial source of methane.

The US currently has a goal of cutting methane emissions from the oil and gas sector by 40 to 45% below 2012 levels by 2025. EPA has already tacken actions to limit methane emissions. In addition to last year’s proposal to limit methane emissions from new and modified sources in the oil and gas sector, in 2012 EPA set emissions standards for fractured and re-fractured natural gas wells.

However, new data gathered by EPA’s Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program, as well as with studies by different groups of researchers, suggest that methane emissions are substantially higher than previously understood. Hence, EPA’s coming proposed expansion of regulations to all existing wells.

EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy said that the agency will begin by issuing an Information Collection Request (ICR) to gather information on existing sources of methane emissions; technologies to reduce those emissions; and the costs of those technologies in the production, gathering, processing, and transmission and storage segments of the oil and gas sector.

This is a standard step in the development process for regulations to reduce air pollution.

There are hundreds of thousands of existing oil and gas sources across our country; some emit small amounts of methane, while others emit a lot. The Information Collection Request will help EPA identify, among other things, which existing sources are big emitters and how they can be effectively controlled. EPA will begin preliminary outreach to states, industry, environmental groups, communities and other organizations in the coming weeks and will launch the formal information collection process in April. This engagement will give us the opportunity to hear feedback from the public on our plans.

—Gina McCarthy

March 10, 2016 in Emissions, Natural Gas, Oil, Regulations | Permalink | Comments (4)

Comments

The EPA has been weakened at every turn by the Republicans reducing their budget. The EPA will regulate pollution under Sanders, or weakly under Clinton; but, it will be hamstrung under a establishment Republican President...Donald Trump is an unknown.

The people have a chance to change Washington DC in this election; but, only under a President who has not bought into the idea that Business runs the people; but, rather that the people run the Government who limit the power of business.

Only Trump, as the Republican or Sanders, as the Democrat can change Washington...the rest, including Clinton, are status quo and we continue as now with greed driving our lives and our children's lives and the rich suppressing the middle-class.

Lad

Trump would bring America into the dark ages overnight.
Putin supports Trump to the white house.
Birds of a feather.

Take a good look at the international community of concerned citizens view and don't be fooled into thinking it's not real.

Americans have a particular blindness to the importance of respect.

There is an understanding in Psychology that we have delusions about ourselves, are (often) poor at understanding or recognising the flaws in others but if we want to know about our faults, we should ask our 'friends' or canvass others for their perception.

FACT:

Nothing less than an implosion of the fossil fuel industry will help to prevent catastrophic climate change.(now that affects me personally)

Can politicians go anyway to bring this about?
The people can.

People that can 'make a difference' read and take notice of the public opinion on media sites such as this so keep on commenting and try to stay on track and civil so your views and concerns can be taken on board.

Some political groups and business lobbyists will fight like cats to keep polluting so that national coffers (war chests) are able to support their world order.

The business lobbyists do the bidding of the corporate employers.

They can and do make and break govt's on a whim so I aren't be thinking magic 'sugar daddy' solutions.

It's in YOUR hands.

Flare gas can be used in turbines to generate electricity for the rigs. When they do that the flare gas is used for a purpose thus reducing the quanity of refined fuel.

Gone are the days when people freely elected their representatives and (indirectly) their President. Government for the people by the people has been replaced by Government by the $$$ for the $$$.

Unless you can disposed of $5+B your chance of becoming President of USA is very slim. You need many very rich friends to get that much money.

Unless election contributions and expenditures are restricted or limited, your may need $8+B to be elected in 2020+.

Once elected, pay back time is not far behind.

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