US to Spend $700 Million for Oil and Gas Sector to Cut Methane Emissions

(Reuters) — The U.S. government will provide up to $700 million in funding to monitor and reduce methane emissions from the oil and gas sector, setting aside half of the amount for grants to states, two agencies said on Monday.

The funding will be accompanied by technical assistance for companies to rein in emissions of the planet-warming greenhouse gas from leaks and daily operations, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said.

"The amount of methane emitted from oil and gas operations is enough to fuel millions of homes a year, and is a major driver of the climate crisis," said Joe Goffman at EPA's Office of Air and Radiation.

States will get as much as $350 million through the U.S. Department of Energy's National Energy Technology Laboratory to help companies voluntarily identify and permanently reduce methane emissions from low-producing wells.

For the remaining funding, the EPA and the DOE said they will also invite bids from tribal governments, companies, and communities for the deployment of technologies and implementation of best practices in the oil and gas sector.

The funding comes from the Inflation Reduction Act as part of a set of Biden administration rules that tackle power plant and vehicle emissions as well as other potent greenhouse gases.

The overall impact is expected to reduce the equivalent of 15 billion metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions between 2022 and 2055, EPA Administrator Michael Regan has said.

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