NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

The EPA Proposes New Climate Change Initiative Regulations

March 13, 2015

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) wants to regulate methane emissions from oil and gas sector as part of its ongoing climate change initiatives, mandating a reduction of 40 to 45 percent by 2015 from 2012 levels.  

Even before EPA started promulgating these regulations — according to EPA's own data report — methane emissions fell by 35 percent from natural gas operations since 2007 while natural gas production increased by 22 percent due to the voluntary implementation of new technologies. This new regulation will accomplish very little but risk being a drain on one of the few booming industries in a stagnant economy. The newly proposed methane regulations are being imposed for political reasons - to increase influence during December's United Nations climate meeting in Paris.

Methane emissions have accounted for about 9 percent of the greenhouse gases emitted in the United States. Only about 3 percent are subject to the proposed EPA regulations, of which they wants to reduce about half; while carbon dioxide emissions have accounted for 82 percent of greenhouse gas emissions. If the United States were to eliminate all carbon dioxide emissions now and forever, the amount of global warming would be just 0.10°C by the end of the century according to computer models. Therefore, the new EPA regulations would reduce 1.5 percent of our greenhouse gas emissions and produce just 0.002°C of temperature savings.

Having already targeted power plants, cars and other sources of emissions, the Obama administration is pushing to regulate the oil and gas sector, one of the greatest economic success stories of the past ten years.

Source: "EPA to Regulate Methane Emissions Despite Huge Decline," Institute for Energy Research, March 5, 2015.


Browse more articles on Environment Issues