$350M in Grants up for Grabs to Cut Methane Emissions from Oil, Gas Industry

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by | Sep 1, 2023

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The Biden administration announced that $350 million in formula grant funding is available to monitor and reduce methane emissions from the oil and gas industry and restoration of well sites.

Methane emissions are one of the biggest contributors to climate change. The funding was announced by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and DOE’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL). The funding is provided through the Inflation Reduction Act, which was signed into law last year and included numerous provisions to boost the renewable energy market and mitigate climate change emissions. 

The Inflation Reduction Act also included new authorities for the EPA under the Clean Air Act through the creation of the Methane Emissions Reduction Program.

The program will improve oil and gas efficiencies, create new energy sector jobs 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 the funding.

“Methane is a much more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide, so it’s crucial that we work closely with states and industry to develop solutions that will cut emissions at their source,” U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm said in a statement. “Thanks to President Biden’s Investing in America agenda, DOE’s partnership with EPA will bolster our national efforts to monitor and mitigate methane emissions from the oil and gas sector – our largest source of industrial methane – while helping revitalize energy communities and delivering long-lasting health and environmental benefits across the country.”

The grant funding availability comes after the Methane Emissions Reduction Program announced it had a budget of $1.55 billion in funding.

The EPA and the DOE plan to unveil grant competitions in the future to offer technical assistance for methane emissions reductions.

“This combination of technical and financial assistance is expected to help improve efficiency of U.S. oil and gas operations and provide new economic opportunities in energy communities, as well as realize near-term emission reductions,” the agencies said.

The move accelerates the U.S. Methane Emissions Reduction Action Plan, which builds on more than 80 administration actions taken in less than a year since the Plan launched in November 2022. EPA and DOE are collaborating alongside 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.

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