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EPA Finalizes Methane Rule

The U.S. oil and gas industry will soon be required to detect and fix methane leaks, owing to a newly finalized rule from the EPA, CNN reports.  

What’s going on: The final rule, which aims to cut methane emissions by nearly 80% through 2038 and was announced Saturday at the COP28 climate summit in Dubai, “will crack down on methane leaks from industry in several ways,” according to CNN.

  • “In a major new development, it will end routine flaring of the natural gas that is a byproduct of drilling oil wells and will phase in a requirement for that gas to be captured instead of burned. The rule will also require stringent leak monitoring of oil and gas wells and compressors, and cut down on leaks from equipment like pumps, storage tanks and controllers.”
  • “It will also rely on independent, third-party monitoring—using satellites and other remote-sensing technology—to find very large methane leaks.”
  • The final rule came the same day 50 major oil and gas firms pledged at COP28 to slash their methane emissions by the end of the decade.

What it means: The rule “puts more of the burden on individual companies to control methane emissions, including by requiring producers to upgrade equipment and to actually search for existing leaks rather than relying on preexisting estimates,” according to E&E News.

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