June 9, 2021
Examining the Nationally Determined Contribution: Methane from Oil and Natural Gas
The Biden Administration’s recent Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) submission to the United Nations promises to achieve greenhouse gas reductions of 50-52 percent from 2005 levels by 2030. This document approaches emissions reductions on a sector-by-sector basis and the American Action Forum will release a three-part series of analyses following that same sector-by-sector approach. In this second analysis focusing on the oil and natural gas sectors, AAF’s Director of Regulatory Policy Dan Bosch examines the current regulations on methane emissions from oil and natural gas, the costs of new methane regulations, and the potential challenges for implementation.
Of the regulatory schemes promised in the NDC, enhanced regulation of methane emissions from the oil and natural gas industries is likely the most straightforward. That does not mean that the scheme would be easy to put in place in short order, however, compromising the rules’ effectiveness in achieving emissions reductions at the level needed to reach the NDC’s goal. As with rules aimed at cutting emissions from electricity generation, the requirements of the rulemaking process and near-certain litigation will substantially postpone implementation – even if the rules are eventually cleared by federal courts.