Washington – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) signed a proposed rule to implement the Waste Emission Charge (WEC), to be assessed on excess methane emissions—a vital measure that will help reduce pollution from the U.S. oil and natural gas sector, which is the largest domestic industrial emitter of methane.
“The waste rule is a critical tool for driving methane pollution down,” said Jonathan Banks, Global Director of Methane Pollution Prevention at CATF. “The technologies and practices to reduce emissions and avoid the charge are widely available to the industry. By putting a price on wasted methane, EPA can help companies choose to do the right thing and mitigate methane pollution now – and for those who choose to pollute, they will pay.”
The proposed rule would implement Section 136 of the Clean Air Act, also known as the Methane Emissions and Waste Reduction Incentive Program.
“The WEC rule proposal is an important step toward fully implementing Congress’ mandate to incentivize cutting harmful and wasteful methane pollution from the oil and gas sector, as laid out in the Inflation Reduction Act, and we applaud EPA for its leadership,” said Darin Schroeder, Methane Legal and Regulatory Director at CATF. “Importantly, the charge can work to complement the recently finalized Section 111 methane standards to help the U.S. achieve timely methane pollution reductions.”
As passed in the Inflation Reduction Act, the charge will be collected from covered sources starting in 2024, and applies to all emissions above a threshold. The amount of the charge begins at $900 per metric ton for 2024 emissions, increasing to $1,200 per ton for 2025 and $1,500 per ton for 2026 and thereafter.
Once published in the Federal Register, EPA will begin collecting public comments on the proposal for sixty days. CATF’s experts will provide detailed feedback to the agency to ensure that the final rule is both effective and durable.
Steve Reyes, Communications Manager, CATF, [email protected], +1 562-916-6463
About Clean Air Task Force
Clean Air Task Force (CATF) is a global nonprofit organization working to safeguard against the worst impacts of climate change by catalyzing the rapid development and deployment of low-carbon energy and other climate-protecting technologies. With 25 years of internationally recognized expertise on climate policy and a fierce commitment to exploring all potential solutions, CATF is a pragmatic, non-ideological advocacy group with the bold ideas needed to address climate change. CATF has offices in Boston, Washington D.C., and Brussels, with staff working virtually around the world. Visit catf.us and follow @cleanaircatf.