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Mexico Issues Proposed Standards to Curb Methane Pollution from the Oil and Gas Industry

Today, Mexico proposed enforceable standards for the Mexican oil and gas sector that, when fully implemented, could cut methane pollution from the oil and gas industry by 40-45 percent.

Clean Air Task Force strongly supports this action by the Mexican government following through on its commitment at the North American Leaders Summit to reduce methane emissions from new and existing sources nationwide. Mexico is seeking to complete the public review of the proposed standards and to finalize them by the end of the year.

“Mexico’s proposed standards are some of the strongest to date,” said Jonathan Banks, Senior Climate Policy Advisor at Clean Air Task Force. “North of the border, we see the exact opposite with the Trump Administration’s attempts to roll back the progress that has been made in the U.S., something Congress and the courts have rejected numerous times.”

The oil and gas sector is one of the largest sources of methane pollution and other greenhouse gas emissions in Mexico, and cutting methane emissions is one of the cheapest, most effective actions Mexico can take to fight global warming. Mexico’s actions are in line with a number of states and countries such as California, Colorado, Pennsylvania and Canada, that are implementing polices to reduce methane pollution.

Mexico’s proposed standards are the result of over two and half years of dialogue and discussion with experts in Mexico and from around the world. The proposed rules will require quarterly leak detection and repair, equipment upgrades, and other best practices, along with new monitoring and reporting of emission data. Mexico’s actions today are yet another example of how global momentum on methane is growing. When Mexico’s standards are finalized, combined with comprehensive standards in Canada, California and Colorado, 45% of oil and 27% of gas production in North America will be covered by strong methane standards. But so much more is happening. Countries like Argentina, Australia, Chad, Chile, Colombia,Cote d’Ivoire, Italy, Netherlands, Nigeria, Norway, Philippines, and the United Kingdom have committed to developing policies for methane abatement in the oil and gas sector.

“Mexico is stepping up to lead the fight against methane pollution, and strong final standards will serve as an example for other nations to follow,” said Banks.