In Washington, D.C., on Thursday, the Environmental Protection Agency announced plans for a major rollback of rules aimed at reducing methane emissions from oil and gas infrastructure. In Texas, environmentalists and even some in the industry are arguing in favor of keeping the rules.
Methane is a potent greenhouse gas. By some estimates, it’s 80 times more harmful to the climate than carbon dioxide, though it doesn’t stay in the atmosphere as long.
The Obama-era regulations require industry to install technology to plug methane leaks from oil and gas wells, pipelines, storage tanks and other infrastructure.
Some oil and gas operators – especially smaller, independent companies – said the rules cost too to follow. But others in the industry have come out in favor of the mandate, pointing out that methane is a natural gas, a commodity they say should not be wasted.