The Biden administration announced that $350 million in source grant funding is available to monitor and reduce methane emissions from the oil and gas industry and to remediate well sites.
Methane emissions are one of the main contributors to climate change. The funding was announced by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), US Department of Energy (DOE) and DOE’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL). Funding is provided through the Inflation Reduction Act, which was signed into law last year and includes numerous provisions to encourage renewable energy markets and reduce climate change emissions.
The Inflation Reduction Act includes new authority for the EPA under the Clean Air Act to create a methane emissions reduction program.
The program will improve oil and gas efficiency, create jobs in new energy sectors and reduce emissions. Oil and gas well owners, plus operators of applicable facilities, can voluntarily and permanently reduce methane gas emissions from leaks and daily operations of low-producing conventional wells on non-federal lands through funding.
“Methane is a much more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide, so it’s critical that we work closely with states and industry to find solutions that reduce emissions at their sources,” US Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm said in a statement. “Thanks to President Biden’s investment in the America Agenda, DOE’s partnership with the EPA will strengthen our national efforts to monitor and mitigate methane emissions from the oil and gas sector – our largest source of industrial methane – while helping to revitalize energy communities and promote long-term health. will help supply. and environmental benefits across the country.”
The availability of grant funding comes after the announcement of a methane emissions reduction program $1.55 billion in funding.
EPA and DOE plan to open grant competitions in the future to provide technical assistance for reducing methane emissions.
“This combination of technical and financial support is expected to help improve the efficiency of US oil and gas operations and realize near-term emissions reductions while providing new economic opportunities to energy communities,” the agencies said.
The move accelerates the U.S. Methane Emissions Reduction Action Plan, which builds on more than 80 administrative actions taken in less than a year since the plan launched in November 2022. EPA and DOE are collaborating with other members of the new White House Methane Task Force, which takes a proactive approach to methane leak detection and data transparency, and supports state and local efforts to mitigate and enforce methane emissions regulations.