Biden administration announces plan to tighten regs on oil, gas sector, undo Trump rollbacks

EPA chief Regan says new rule will advance U.S. climate goals under 2015 Paris Agreement
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President Biden attends a FEMA hurricane briefing.
Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times via Getty Image

The Biden administration is launching a wide-ranging plan to reduce methane emissions, with the centerpiece an upcoming Environmental Protection Agency rule to tighten such regulations on the oil and gas sector.

The plan is being announced Tuesday as President Biden concludes two days at a United Nations climate summit in Scotland where he pledged to work with the European Union and other countries to reduce overall methane emissions worldwide by 30% by 2030, according to the Associated Press

The upcoming EPA regulation was laid out in one of Biden’s first executive orders.

The proposed rule would for the first that targets existing U.S. oil and gas wells, instead of focusing only on new wells as previous regulations have done.

EPA Administrator Michael Regan said the new rule, established under the Clean Air Act, would be stricter than an Obama-era standard set in 2016.

The Democrat-controlled Congress reinstated the Obama standard last summer in a rare effort to use the legislative branch to overturn a regulatory rollback under President Trump.

Regan also said the new rule will advance U.S. climate goals under the 2015 Paris Agreement, the wire service also reports.

The oil and natural gas industry is the nation’s largest industrial source of methane.

The American Petroleum Institute, the oil and gas industry’s top lobbying group, has said it supports direct regulation of methane emissions from new and existing sources but opposes efforts in Congress to impose fees on methane leaks.