The Trump administration is set to announce plans to roll back regulations on methane emissions on Thursday, The New York Times reported.
An industry official with knowledge of the plan told the newspaper that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) plans to eliminate federal requirements for technology to monitor and repair methane leaks at wells, pipelines and storage facilities.
Methane, the main component of natural gas, would only be indirectly regulated under the proposal.
Although carbon dioxide is the most significant contributor to climate change, methane is second. The gas lasts in the atmosphere for short periods of time, but traps an estimated 80 times more heat than carbon dioxide.
The proposed rollback is one of many efforts by the Trump administration to dismantle environmental rules developed under former President Obama.
“This is extraordinarily harmful,” Rachel Kyte, the United Nations special representative on sustainable energy, told the Times of the methane rule and other Trump administration efforts to undo climate regulations.
“Just at a time when the federal government’s job should be to help localities and states move faster toward cleaner energy and a cleaner economy, just at that moment when speed and scale is what’s at stake, the government is walking off the field.”
The rule would likely go through a public comment period and be finalized sometime next year, the Times noted.
The White House directed The Hill to the EPA, which did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the reported regulation rollback.
--Updated at 9:16 a.m.