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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 McCarthyRegina (Gina) McCarthyOvernight Energy: Dems ask Pruitt to justify first-class travel | Obama EPA chief says reg rollback won't stand | Ex-adviser expects Trump to eventually rejoin Paris accord Overnight Regulation: Trump to take steps to ban bump stocks | Trump eases rules on insurance sold outside of ObamaCare | FCC to officially rescind net neutrality Thursday | Obama EPA chief: Reg rollback won't stand Obama EPA chief: Trump regulation rollbacks won't hold up legally MORE that the EPA would make a call this fall.

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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.