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US methane rules will not achieve climate targets

Friday, February 20, 2015

Subject

US methane regulations.

Significance

US rules aimed at 45% reductions in methane emissions from the oil and gas industry by 2025 are to be finalised in the middle of this year, according to a White House plan unveiled last month. Methane emissions are the second-most common greenhouse gas (GHG) in the United States and account worldwide for nearly 20% of 'radiative forcing' -- a measure of potential climate change impact. The new rules will apply from 2016 and only to new or newly modified sites.

Impacts

  • The push to switch to natural gas from coal could lead to a rapid increase in gas installations.
  • However, the natural gas industry has expanded during the 'shale revolution' and those operations will be exempt from current rules.
  • Landfill regulations may proliferate at municipal and state level, where the industry is less politicised.
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