Whitehouse Hails EPA’s Move to Curb Methane Pollution with Industry Fee

U.S. Senate Budget Committee Chairman Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) applauded the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed rule to impose a fee on excess methane pollution from the oil and gas industry. Whitehouse, who was behind the original methane fee proposal incorporated into the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, celebrated the agency’s move to hold the industry accountable for its environmental impact.

Expressing his support, Whitehouse emphasized the potential of the methane emissions fee to prompt swift action within the oil and gas sector. He highlighted the importance of ending the era where pollution came without a cost, asserting that the fee, coupled with the new methane rule and a robust leak enforcement task force, would crack down on super-emitters causing disproportionate harm to the planet.

“For too long, the oil and gas industry has been allowed to pollute without consequences. My methane emissions fee, now implemented by the EPA, changes that. We’re putting a stop to wasteful practices that harm our environment,” Whitehouse declared, underscoring his longstanding commitment to reducing methane emissions.

Whitehouse also stressed the necessity for accurate assessment of the fee, calling on the EPA to finalize its proposal to update subpart W of the Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program. This update aims to ensure that oil and gas companies provide precise reports on their methane emissions, utilizing empirical data from satellite, aerial, and terrestrial monitoring.

“When all these rules are complete, the Biden administration will have set the model for a global methane reduction program,” Whitehouse asserted, highlighting the potential global impact of these regulations.

The article detailed the environmental significance of methane, labeling it a super pollutant with potency 84 times that of carbon dioxide in the first two decades after release. Notably, the oil and gas industry is responsible for a substantial portion of man-made methane emissions, with recent research suggesting emissions are significantly higher than previously estimated.

The Inflation Reduction Act introduced a fee for methane emissions from specific oil and gas facilities reporting emissions exceeding 25,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent annually. The fee structure begins at $900 per metric ton of emissions in 2024, increasing to $1,200 in 2025 and $1,500 in 2026 and beyond, applying only to emissions surpassing specified levels.




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