On Thursday, August 30th, 2019, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed a new rule that will decrease methane emission regulation. While most people are worried about carbon emissions, methane is equally important.
About 25% of the global warming the planet has experienced is due to methane emissions. While not as abundant or long-lasting like carbon, methane is very good at absorbing heat. In fact, it is 84 times more potent than carbon in this regard.
However, the proposed rule will ease regulations, which in turn will allow more of it into the atmosphere.
What Does The Rule Do?
This rule would no longer require monitoring technologies to be installed on wells, tanks, and pipelines in the oil and gas industry.
These types of technologies help the industry identify and respond quickly to leaks in the lines. By ceasing this regulation, companies will be able to save between 17 and 19 million dollars annually.
However, this will certainly mean that more methane emissions will be released into the atmosphere and speed up climate change.
Some Companies Will Ignore The Rollback for Methane Emission
It is important to remember that the regulations set by the EPA are only the minimum rules that companies must follow. Even if the regulations are reduced, companies do not have to follow them.
In fact, there is nothing stopping them from going above and beyond when it comes to the environment.
That is exactly what both Shell and Exxon Mobil plan to do. Both companies acknowledged that methane emissions need to be regulated and have no plans to undo the changes they have made.
In fact, Shell has further plans to reduce methane emissions and is encouraging the EPA to reconsider.
Regulations Need to be Tightened, Not Eased
It’s no secret that overregulation is a serious problem, but its a different story when it comes to environmental regulations. Our current regulations are not nearly as tight as they need to be in order to reduce our emissions to safe levels.
Many businesses are looking for ways to cut emissions and create easier to recycle products. Going green isn’t just the right thing to do for the planet. It is also proven to be critical for a business’s future as the consumer becomes more environmentally conscious.