Biden administration finalizes strict methane reporting standards

May 7, 2024
The US EPA finalized tougher methane reporting standards that could increase the number of oil and gas companies that must pay fees for excess methane emissions.

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalized tougher methane reporting standards on May 6 that could increase the number of oil and gas companies that must pay fees for excess methane emissions.

The reporting rule is part of a broader EPA plan—directed by Congress in the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022—to combat methane emissions.

In December, the agency issued a final rule for stricter methane control from oil and gas operations by minimizing the routine flaring of natural gas and the size and frequency of natural gas leaks (OGJ Online, Dec. 4, 2023).

EPA then proposed a Waste Emissions Charge (WEC) to penalize companies that emit more than 25,000 tonnes/year of CO2 equivalent. The WEC starts at $900/tonne for 2024 reported methane emissions, increasing to $1,200/tonne for 2025 emissions, and $1,500/tonne for emissions years 2026 and later (OGJ Online, Jan. 16, 2024).

This final rule updating the Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program strengthens, expands, and updates the way oil and gas companies calculate and report their emissions. 

EPA said recent studies show that actual emissions from oil and gas systems are much greater than what has historically been reported to the agency.

“This rule addresses that gap, including by facilitating the use of satellite data to identify super-emitters and quantify large emission events, requiring direct monitoring of key emission sources, and updating the methods for calculation,” EPA said.

 

About the Author

Cathy Landry | Washington Correspondent

Cathy Landry has worked over 20 years as a journalist, including 17 years as an energy reporter with Platts News Service (now S&P Global) in Washington and London.

She has served as a wire-service reporter, general news and sports reporter for local newspapers and a feature writer for association and company publications.

Cathy has deep public policy experience, having worked in 15 years in Washington energy circles.

She earned a master’s degree in government from The Johns Hopkins University and studied newspaper journalism and psychology at Syracuse University.