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US oil and gas pressure group wants recognition of methane reductions

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WASHINGTON – The American Petroleum Institute lobby group seeks recognition of reductions in methane emissions by oil and gas producers as the Biden administration prepares to regulate greenhouse gases, said Wednesday the leader of the group.

In November, President Joe Biden’s Environmental Protection Agency launched a proposal on methane emissions from oil and gas operations and other sources. For the first time, it is forcing oil and gas operators to aggressively detect and repair methane leaks. Operations represent a third of methane emissions.

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At the time, API said it supported regulation directly from new and existing sources, a shift in stance from the group that had long opposed mandatory restrictions.

Mike Sommers, API president and CEO, said the group is sharing their industry knowledge and experience with the EPA to inform their rule making. Comments to the EPA “will include suggestions to further improve the flexibility of the proposed monitoring framework so that producers have the opportunity to implement new, more effective monitoring technologies,” Sommers told reporters after the annual event. API on the state of the industry.

The group wants regulators to recognize measures taken by industry to reduce gas leaks, he said. He did not provide details on how this work might be recognized.

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API criticized actions taken by the Biden administration as part of its climate change agenda, including removing the Keystone XL pipeline and removing access to drilling at the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska, claiming that these measures could harm the economy. Sommers said working with the EPA on methane is one way to work with the administration to reduce risks from climate change “over time.”

Although API says it supports methane regulations, it opposes efforts to impose a levy on gas emissions. API is concerned about methane emission costs included in House-passed Build Back Better legislation that is at the heart of Biden’s economic plan, Sommers said at the API event that attempted to exemplify diversity industry and its concern for the environment,

The bill is stalled due to opposition from Democratic Senators Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema.

The lobby group supports the bill’s increase in credits, known as 45Q, for industries to capture carbon emissions before they reach the atmosphere. (Reporting by Timothy Gardner; Editing by David Gregorio)