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Trump EPA proposes easing limits on methane emissions

Video Credit: Reuters - Politics
Published on August 29, 2019 - Duration: 01:57s

Trump EPA proposes easing limits on methane emissions

The Trump administration on Thursday proposed rescinding Obama-era limits on oil and gas industry emissions of methane, one of the main pollutants scientists link to climate change.

Jonah Green reports.

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Trump EPA proposes easing limits on methane emissions

The Trump administration on Thursday proposed easing Obama-era limits on one of the main pollutants scientists link to climate change: methane.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said easing the 2016 regulation that targeted oil and gas industry emissions of methane would save energy companies up to $123 million through 2025.

But some large energy companies including BP actually favor federal regulation of methane, saying the regulatory certainty is preferable to a patchwork of rules.

The move is the Trump administration's latest easing of environmental rules, including many put forth by his predecessor President Barack Obama.

Trump has also relaxed rules on carbon emissions from vehicles and intends to withdraw the United States from the 2015 Paris agreement on climate change.

President Trump has made no secret that he doesn't believe the scientific consensus on climate change, which he often mocks as a hoax.

At last weekend's G7 summit in France, Trump was the only world leader to skip a meeting on climate change, and explained his absence by touting the wealth the US generates from fossil fuel production.

The oil and gas business is the largest single source of methane emissions, a major factor in global warming.

Scientists warn the gas has more than 80 times the heat-trapping potential of carbon dioxide in the first 20 years after it escapes into the atmosphere.

The EPA said it will keep rules issued in 2012 that limit emissions known as volatile organic compounds that cause smog and also control some methane emissions.

The plan will undergo a period of public comment before being finalized, and environmental groups pledged court action to try to block repeal of the limits.

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