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Biden administration proposes new rules to lower methane emissions from oil and gas development projects on federal land

November 29, 2022


The Biden administration moved Monday to stifle methane releases from oil and gas wells on public land after a federal court tossed out earlier requirements. 

A proposed rule, advanced by the Interior Department’s Bureau of Land Management, is aimed at throttling greenhouse gas releases from the sites, whether leaked from equipment, deliberately vented into the atmosphere or burned off. It is the culmination of an eight-year regulatory push to tackle methane releases from the oil industry, newly emboldened by provisions in the Inflation Reduction Act.

Biden administration officials cast the proposal as a fiscally and environmentally sound approach to conserving natural gas that is extracted from federal land managed by the Interior Department -- and therefore owned by US taxpayers. 

The requirements only apply to a subset of US oil and gas facilities -- those on federal and tribal lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management, where there are currently about 100,000 actively producing wells. About one-tenth of US oil and natural gas production comes from federal and tribal lands.

[Jennifer A Dlouhy]

More: Biden Proposes Mandates to Cut Methane Leaks on Federal Land

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