The Obama administration issued a final rule to sharply cut methane emissions from US oil and gas production, a key part of a push by President Barack Obama to reduce methane emissions by nearly half over the next decade, ABC News reported.
The rule unveiled by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is the major element of an administration goal to reduce methane emissions from oil and gas drilling by up to 45% by 2025, compared to 2012 levels. It will require energy producers to find and repair leaks at new or modified oil and gas wells and capture gas that escapes from wells that use the common drilling technique known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.
Officials cited by Daily Mail estimate the rule will cost the industry about $530m in 2025. Those costs would be outweighed by reduced health care costs and other benefits totaling about $690m.
Methane, the key component of natural gas, tends to leak during oil and gas production, is the second most prevalent greenhouse gas after carbon dioxide. Though it only lasts in the atmosphere for 20 years, methane is 84 times more potent than carbon dioxide at trapping heat, and environmental groups have pressed the administration for tighter restrictions leaks, Reuters wrote.