White House looks to cut methane emissions in new plan

BY Matthew Daly, Associated Press  March 28, 2014 at 2:09 PM EST

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WASHINGTON — The White House has announced a wide-ranging plan aimed at cutting methane emissions from oil and gas drilling, landfills and other sources. The plan announced Friday is part of President Barack Obama’s strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global warming.

The White House said the Environmental Protection Agency will study how methane is released during oil and gas drilling and decide by the end of the year whether to develop new regulations for methane emissions. If imposed, the regulations would be completed in 2016.

Methane is a powerful greenhouse gas released by landfills, cattle and leaks from oil and natural gas production. Methane is 21 times more potent at trapping heat than carbon dioxide, the most abundant global warming gas, although it doesn’t stay in the air as long.