The White House has started its final review of a proposed regulation to limit natural gas waste on public lands.
The regulation from the Interior Department’s Bureau of Land Management is intended to reduce the frequency by which oil and gas drilling companies allow gas to escape from wells, known as venting, or burn it, known as flaring.
The rule, which would only apply to wells drilled by private companies on leased federal land, is an important part of the federal government’s efforts to reduce emission of methane. Methane is the main ingredient in natural gas, and is a greenhouse gas with global warming power at least 20 times that of carbon dioxide.
Interior Secretary Sally JewellSally JewellOvernight Energy: Rough hearing for Tillerson Interior proposes raising royalty rates on federal coal mining Overnight Energy: Former Exxon chief Tillerson takes the hot seat MORE told reporters last week that the regulation will definitely not be made final by December, when world leaders meet in Paris to discuss a global climate-change pact.
She said it makes sense to limit the venting and flaring of gas on public lands that is owned by the country’s taxpayers.
“It’s crazy to vent natural gas into the atmosphere when natural gas is a fuel that can produce electricity at a much lower carbon footprint than other sources like coal,” Jewell said at an event hosted by The Christian Science Monitor.
The Environmental Protection Agency has separately proposed measures to reduce methane leaks for oil and gas drilling across the country.