Methane Emissions Reduction Action Plan
The Methane Emissions Reduction Action Plan 2022 ("Action Plan") updates the November 2021 plan of the same name, outlining actions that the government will take to reduce methane emissions in different sectors.
For the oil and gas sector, the Action Plan builds on the Global Methane Pledge Energy Pathway by:
- Imposing stricter standards on methane, as outlined in the proposal of the Environmental Protection Agency to amend the Clean Air Act;
- Providing USD 1.55 billion in financial and technical assistance under the Inflation Reduction Act to monitor and reduce methane emissions from operations, USD 700 million of which is earmarked for pollution reduction activities at marginal convention wells;
- Implementing a "waste emissions charge" per ton of methane in oil and gas facilities the exceed defined thresholds;
- Improving monitoring and measurement by funding research and development on related technologies (USD 32 million);
- Plugging methane leaks from orphaned oil and gas wells by funding agencies and states through the Orphaned Wells Grant Program (USD 4.2 billion); and
- Implementing a new safety and modernisation program.
For landfills and food waste, the Action Plan enumerates the following actions:
- Conducting outreach and developing new resources to achieve a national goal of 70% methane emissions capture for all landfills;
- Launching efforts to cut food waste through: (1) plans made by the Federal Interagency Food Loss and Waste Collaboration that is working toward the national goal of reducing food loss and waste by 50% by 2030; (2) investments of up to USD 90 million in different composting and food waste reduction programs; and (3) two grant programs of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law that provides EPA with USD 350 million for solid waste management infrastructure.
For abandoned coal mines, USD 11 billion is given to eligible states and Tribes under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to reclaim abandoned coal mines. The investment is part of the Abandoned Mine Land grant program of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, to create jobs in this field, especially for dislocated energy workers. States and tribes are directed to prioritise projects to meet the Justice40 Initiative goal that 40% of the overall benefits flow to disadvantaged communities. Funding may be used to address a range of problems stemming from abandoned coal mine sites, including:
- Public health, safety, and environmental hazards such as dangerous highwalls, waste piles, subsidence, open portals, harmful gas releases, and acid mine drainage;
- Water supply infrastructure restoration; and
- Abandoned coal mine emergencies.
The Action Plan also includes methane reduction strategies for the following sectors: Agriculture; Building and Industrial; and Manufacturing.
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