EPA readies reporting rule for methane fee

By Jean Chemnick | 04/19/2024 06:23 AM EDT

The regulation will determine which fossil fuel operators have to pay fees for leaked gas.

A pump jack located next to homes in Signal Hill, Calif.

A pump jack extracts oil in Signal Hill, Calif. Jae C. Hong/AP

EPA will soon issue a new rule for how oil and gas facilities assess and report climate pollution, and it could put more operators on the hook to pay methane fees.

The White House finished reviewing the final oil and gas greenhouse gas emissions reporting rule on Wednesday. That usually means the release of a rule is imminent, but in this case the announcement might be delayed until after EPA debuts a set of high-profile power sector rules next Thursday.

Congress directed EPA to revise its reporting guidelines for oil and gas facilities when it passed the 2022 climate law known as the Inflation Reduction Act, which also authorized new fees on excessive methane leakage. Numerous studies have shown that the methane accounting methodologies currently required by EPA underestimate the sector’s leaked emissions.


EPA’s proposed rule last year set much higher default emissions values for equipment and adds new categories for reporting, potentially resulting in some oil and gas companies disclosing higher levels of methane emissions for the same operations than they had in the past.