The Trump US administration is removing limits on methane leaks, which will allow oil and gas companies to decide how much of the greenhouse gas can escape into the atmosphere from wells, pipelines and storage tanks.
The new rules effectively rescind the Environmental Protection Agency’s authority to regulate methane, the largest component of natural gas. Methane is estimated to be at least 25 times and as much as 80 times more potent than carbon in terms of trapping heat in the atmosphere.
The administration said methane would now be regulated under the Clean Air Act like other volatile compounds.
Image: Charlie Riedel/AP.