Colorado first state to regulate methane emissions

Colorado approved groundbreaking controls on emissions from oil and natural gas operations as a means to curb increasing smog.

On Saturday, Colorado Air Quality Control Commission ruled in flavor of regulations crafted by companies and environmentalists including Anadarko Petroleum Corp., and the Environmental Defense Fund, Bloomberg reports.

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The worsening smog exceeds federal ozone guidelines along the Rocky Mountains. Methane, a potent greenhouse gas, a contributing source to climate change, is among the pollution from the oil and natural gas industry.

“This is a model for the country,” said Dan Grossman, the defense fund’s Rocky Mountain regional director. “We’ve got this simmering battle between the oil and gas industry and neighborhoods throughout the state that are being faced with development. That degree of acrimony is pushing the industry and policy makers to look for ways to get some wins.”

Recent studies have highlighted the methane emissions from the natural gas industry, citing a higher number of leaks from the system than previously thought.

The Environmental Protection Agency is currently working with other agency's on a methane strategy but have yet to propose any regulation on the greenhouse gas.