California just put serious limits on methane leaks

The California Air Resources Board voted unanimously on Thursday to enact regulations that will curb the amount of methane the oil and gas industry can leak and vent during production and storage.

The new rule — years in the making — requires oil and gas companies to monitor infrastructure and repair leaks. It is a massive step forward for California’s air quality programs, advocates say, and it is the strictest in the nation.

The Air Resources Board expects the new rule will reduce methane leaks by 45 percent over the next nine years.

The oil and gas industry contributes about a third of the United States’ overall methane emissions. Not only is methane a powerful greenhouse gas, trapping heat 86 times more effectively than carbon dioxide over a 20-year span, but leaking and flaring natural gas also adds benzene (a carcinogen) and NOx compounds (which create ground-level ozone) into the air we breathe.

Still, the environmental dangers of leaking methane haven’t stopped Congress or Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from taking steps this year to reduce accountability from the oil and gas industry. In February, the House passed a Congressional Review Act to rescind a Bureau of Land Management rule that required oil and gas operators on public lands to limit their methane leaks and flaring.

Read full story…


The following are paid links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.