The EPA has proposed loosening requirements for testing and repairing methane leaks in drilling operations for oil and gas wells. Did you know that methane, as the main component of natural gas accounts for 10% of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions? Methane has over 80 times the heat-trapping potential of carbon dioxide, making it a much more dangerous greenhouse gas in our changing climate world.
According to Reuters, “Under the new proposal methane gas emissions will increase by a total 380,000 short tons between 2019 and 2025 compared with the EPA’s 2018 baseline estimate.”
The EPA has justified the proposal, saying that the oil and gas industry will save $75 million a year in regulatory costs between 2019 and 2025. Meanwhile, the oil and gas sector composes the largest single source of U.S. methane emissions, following EPA data.