By Matthew Daly, AP News
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Interior Department on Monday proposed rules to limit methane leaks from oil and gas drilling on public lands, the latest action by the Biden administration to crack down on emissions of methane, a potent greenhouse gas that contributes significantly to global warming.
The proposal by Interior’s Bureau of Land Management would tighten limits on gas flaring on federal land and require energy companies to better detect methane leaks that add to planet-warming greenhouse gas pollution.
The actions follow a more comprehensive methane-reduction plan announced by President Joe Biden earlier this month. The Nov. 11 proposal, announced as Biden attended a global climate conference in Egypt, targets the oil and gas industry for its role in global warming even as the president has pressed energy producers for more oil drilling to lower prices at the gasoline pump.
Oil and gas production is the nation’s largest industrial source of methane, the primary component of natural gas, and is a key target for the Biden administration as it seeks to combat climate change.
The proposal announced Monday would prevent billions of cubic feet of natural gas from being wasted through venting, flaring and leaks, boosting efficiency while at the same time reducing pollution, administration officials said.