Obama to Take Executive Action on Emissions Regulations

SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

The U.S. energy industry says there’s no need for the Obama administration to impose new regulations on its emissions of methane because energy companies are doing the job without any government involvement.

The administration says Obama will bypass Congress again and invoke executive authority under the Clean Air Act to set the rules. Its target cuts in emissions will be between 40% and 45% below 2012 levels, and the target date for these cuts is 2025.

Environmental groups hailed Obama’s decision to reduce the amount of methane that escapes from equipment that oil and gas companies use in production and distribution. It makes up less than 10% of pollution in the United States, but is more than 20 times more toxic than the more prevalent greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide, and so has a disproportionate impact on global climate change.