Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency proposed its first-ever rules targeting methane emissions from the oil and gas sectors. Methane emissions from natural gas production could be as much as 8 times higher than EPA or industry estimate. Methane is 34 times more potent a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide, so methane leakage erodes the climate advantage natural gas has over coal.

Following is a statement from Sam Adams, director, U.S. Climate Initiative, World Resources Institute:

“These standards are a vital step toward reining in harmful methane emissions and protecting the climate. New standards for methane emissions will also address dangerous local air pollution. Reducing methane emissions is smart for business and can create savings for consumers.

“Natural gas has the potential to be a low-emissions energy source, but only if methane leakage is controlled. These standards will encourage companies to reduce waste so they can save money and deliver more product to market.

“Yet, there is still more work to be done. EPA’s proposed standards cover methane emissions from new and modified sources, but EPA should address existing sources as well.”

For more information:

Photo credit: Tim Evanson, Flickr