The Obama Administration today announced a Strategy to Reduce Methane Emissions as part of the U.S. Climate Action Plan. This is an important step toward meeting the U.S. commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 17 percent below 2005 levels by 2020.

In the report “Clearing the Air,” WRI found that if fugitive methane emissions exceed 3 percent of total natural gas production, the climate advantage over coal disappears in just 20 years.

Following is a statement from Sarah Forbes, Senior Associate, World Resources Institute:

“Curbing methane pollution is essential to ensure that natural gas production can bring climate benefits. A critical step in the U.S. Climate Action Plan, this strategy can help the administration deliver on its promise to drive down U.S. greenhouse gas emissions.

“Even with today’s relatively low natural gas prices, many available technologies can reduce methane emissions, and they can pay for themselves in three years or less. The new strategy provides the federal oversight that is needed to support many of the measures the oil and gas industry has already put in place.

“Limiting methane emissions is just the kind of strong and sensible action we need. The administration has more tools available to reduce emissions, including from power plants, and move the country toward a low-carbon economy.”

Photo credit: Justin Woolford, Flickr