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The Obama administration has telegraphed its plans to “reduce wasteful venting, flaring and leaks of natural gas from onshore wells” on federal and Indian leases nationwide.
Despite the concerns, the estimated retirement of at least 4,000 megawatts of coal-fired generation capacity in the ERCOT region is much less than the previous projection of 8,700 megawatts given last year before the Clean Power Plan rule was finalized and the timelines were eased, said ERCOT, which manages about 85 percent of Texas’ electricity load.
The Clean Power Plan, the final version of which was proposed in August, is intended to reduce carbon pollution from existing power by 32 percent from their 2005 levels by 2030.
The Environmental Protection Agency proposed the new regulations Tuesday, making a significant step toward fulfilling the White House’s March pledge to pare oil and gas methane emissions by 40 to 45 percent by 2025.
The research suggests that advancements in equipment and better maintenance are helping drive down emissions of the potent heat-trapping gas.
White House officials said the plan aims to cut oil and gas emissions of the powerful heat-trapping greenhouse gas by 40 to 45 percent within a decade, from 2012 levels.
New research suggests two major oil sector sources of methane emissions are techniques to dislodge fluid from wells and the pneumatic devices used to control valves at the sites.
The Environmental Defense Fund says some major oil companies are taking steps to reduce leaks of the greenhouse gas methane, the main component of natural gas, but that hundreds of smaller companies aren’t.
The EPA and the Interior Department are considering a combination of regulations that would rein in methane, a power heat-trapping greenhouse gas.
Environmental groups on Thursday pressured the Obama administration to clamp down on methane leaking from the oil and gas sector by imposing new regulations targeting wells, valves and other infrastructure.