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U.S. EPA signs proposal to implement a charge on excess methane emissions from oil and gas industry, a critical tool for timely methane reductions from the largest industrial polluter

January 12, 2024 Work Area: Methane

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.  

Contacto con la prensa

Steve Reyes, Director de Comunicación, CATF, [email protected], +1 562-916-6463

Acerca de Clean Air Task Force 

Clean Air Task Force (CATF) es una organización mundial sin ánimo de lucro que trabaja para protegerse de los peores impactos del cambio climático catalizando el rápido desarrollo y despliegue de energías bajas en carbono y otras tecnologías de protección del clima. Con 25 años de experiencia reconocida internacionalmente en política climática y un compromiso feroz para explorar todas las soluciones potenciales, CATF es un grupo de defensa pragmático y no ideológico con las ideas audaces necesarias para abordar el cambio climático. CATF tiene oficinas en Boston, Washington D.C. y Bruselas, con personal que trabaja virtualmente en todo el mundo. Visite y siga a @cleanaircatf.

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