EPA punts decision on methane regs

The Environmental Protection Agency is punting a decision on whether to pursue regulations on methane emissions from industrial sources until after the holidays.

An EPA official told The Hill on Wednesday that the agency is holding off on its decision until after the holidays despite consistent statements by Administrator Gina McCarthyGina McCarthyLiberal group files lobbying complaint against Pruitt Trump’s budget prioritizes polluters over people Trump pulls US out of Paris deal: What it would mean MORE that the EPA would make a call this fall.

As the clock wound down, however, advocates and critics of possible regulations alike began to question if the EPA would move to target methane emissions.

The move to hold off on regulations, or more voluntary actions to tackle methane from the oil and gas sector appears to push any decision back until January.  

In recent months Democratic lawmakers have pressed the EPA to take action, arguing regulations would help strengthen the president’s climate agenda.

Methane, a potent greenhouse gas, is roughly 80 times more damaging than carbon dioxide over a 20-year timeframe.