President Joe Biden’s administration plans to toughen a crackdown on oil and gas industry methane leaks, officials said on Friday at the COP27 climate talks.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will expand its 2021 methane rule so that it requires all drillers to find and repair leaks at every well site and pipeline.
“It’s more urgent than ever that we double down on our climate commitments. Russia’s war only enhances the urgency of the need to transition the world off this dependency on fossil fuels,” Biden said during his keynote speech at the climate event.
White House National Climate Adviser Ali Zaidi, speaking at the COP27 conference in Egypt, said the planned crackdown on methane was part of the Biden administration’s “relentless focus on making sure we root out emissions everywhere we can find them.”
Methane is among the most powerful greenhouse gases that leaks undetected into the atmosphere from drill sites, pipelines and other facilities in the oil and gas industry.
The new rule by the EPA follows up on a methane rule Biden announced last year at a UN Climate Summit in Scotland. The 2021 rule targets emissions from existing oil and gas wells nationwide, rather than focusing only on new wells.
The new plan would extend to monitoring of all the country’s roughly 1 million well sites, including smaller wells that emit less than 3 tons of methane per year, the EPA said.