Curbs on Methane, Potent Greenhouse Gas, to Be Relaxed in U.S

Leaks from natural gas drilling, shipping and storage are one of the main sources of methane emissions in the United States.
CreditCreditBrennan Linsley/Associated Press

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration laid out on Thursday a far-reaching plan to cut back on theregulation of methane emissions, a major contributor to climate change.

The Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed rule aims to eliminate federal requirements that oil and gas companies install technology to detect and fix methane leaks from wells, pipelines and storage facilities. It would also reopen the question of whether the E.P.A. had the legal authority to regulate methane as a pollutant.

The rollback plan is particularly notable because major energy companies have, in fact, spoken out against it — joining automakerselectric utilities and other industrial giants that have opposed other administration initiatives to dismantle climate-change and environmental rules.

The weakening of the methane standard is the latest in the march of environmental-policy rollbacks by the Trump administration designed to loosen regulations on industry.

Environmental advocates described the proposal as a major setback in the effort to fight climate change. Methane is a potent greenhouse gas. MORE

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