WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.), Chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, today released the following statement on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) final rule to reduce methane emissions from oil and gas production. The rule would eliminate wasteful routine flaring of gas for new wells, which Carper urged the agency to do in a letter earlier this year.
“As world leaders gather in Dubai this week, the Biden Administration is again demonstrating our nation’s commitment to leading on climate,” said Senator Carper. “We can’t meet our ambitious climate goals without drastically reducing methane emissions, which we know to be over 80 times more potent than carbon dioxide in the short term. That’s one of the reasons why I’m happy to see that EPA will sharply reduce these emissions with this rule by ending the wasteful routine flaring of gas from oil wells. In addition to the Methane Emissions Reduction Program in the Inflation Reduction Act, this strong rule will help slow climate change as we work to leave behind a healthy, thriving planet for future generations. Bravo Zulu!”
MORE ON THE METHANE EMISSIONS REDUCTION PROGRAM:
As EPW Chairman, Senator Carper led negotiations to secure the Methane Emissions Reduction Program (MERP) — the first-ever fee on greenhouse gas emissions by the federal government — as part of the Inflation Reduction Act.
The new program at EPA provides $1.5 billion in grants, rebates, contracts, loans, and other forms of financial support to monitor and clean up excess methane emissions from the oil and gas sector. Beginning in 2025, this program will implement a charge on the reported prior-year tons of methane emissions from oil and natural gas systems that exceed more than 25,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent gas. The charge will phase up over time to a fee of $1,500 for each excess ton of methane emissions.
The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the program will generate $6.35 billion over ten years. Resources for the Future estimates that the program will have a negligible cost to consumers.
Read more about the MERP and the EPW title of the Inflation Reduction Act here.