Biden Administration Announces Dramatic Plan to Cut Methane Pollution

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Emissions-wise, new EPA rule is akin to closing all remaining coal-fired crops.

The Biden administration introduced an bold new plan on Saturday to dramatically curb methane emissions, the second greatest trigger of worldwide warming after carbon dioxide. It would require oil and gasoline producers to detect and repair leaks of methane for the primary time.

The announcement got here because the United Nations hosted the Cop28 local weather summit in Dubai, the place Vice President Kamala Harris delivered transient remarks. “We must have the ambition to meet this moment, to accelerate our investments and to lead with courage and conviction,” she stated.

The Environmental Protection Agency estimated that the brand new rule would stop 58 million tons of methane emissions from 2024 to 2038—roughly equal to the quantity of carbon dioxide emitted yearly by coal-fired energy crops within the United States. The administrative rule doesn’t want congressional approval and can take impact subsequent yr, though conservative teams are doubtless to problem it in courtroom. (The US Supreme Court has already placed limits on the administration’s efforts to combat local weather change.)

Fred Krupp, president of the Environmental Defense Fund, called the policy “the most impactful climate rule that the United States has ever adopted in terms of addressing temperatures we would otherwise see.”

In a separate announcement on the UN summit, the world’s 50 largest oil producers reached a brand new pact to cut back methane emissions by 80 to 90 percent by the top of the last decade.

Still, environmental teams have criticized Biden for not doing extra to combat local weather change by focusing on fossil fuels like oil, coal, and gasoline. The administration has accepted new drilling leases this yr and home oil manufacturing has surged. The United States is poised to extract report quantities of oil and gasoline in 2023, which is on observe to be the most popular yr on report. Biden skipped the UN summit to give attention to different points, together with Israel’s army marketing campaign in Gaza.

Environmentalists have additionally faulted the UN for holding the summit within the United Arab Emirates, one of many world’s largest oil producers. The president of the summit is the top of the state-owned oil firm.

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