The White House said on Friday it will take a hard look at whether new regulations are needed to cut emissions of methane from the oil and gas industry, part of President Barack Obama's plan to address climate change.
Regulators will start by proposing new rules later this year to reduce venting and flaring from oil and gas wells on public lands, one way to begin slashing emissions of the potent greenhouse gas, said Dan Utech, Obama's top energy and climate aide.
Most oil and gas production takes place on privately owned land.
The Environmental Protection Agency is going to study this year whether additional broader regulations are needed for methane emissions under the Clean Air Act, Utech told reporters on a conference call.
If the agency deems more regulations are needed, they will be completed before Obama leaves the White House at the end of 2016. Obama has set he wants to cut U.S. greenhouse gas emissions to 17 percent below 2005 levels by the year 2020.The only good thing: presidents come and go. Having said that, this suggests President Obama will never approve the Keystone XL 2.0 North.