The Inflation Reduction Act provides new authorities under Section 136 of the Clean Air Act to reduce methane emissions from the oil and gas sector through the creation of the Methane Emissions Reduction Program.
Through the Methane Emissions Reduction Program, the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management (FECM), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and DOE’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) will provide technical assistance and up to $1.3 billion in financial assistance to improve methane monitoring and to reduce methane and other greenhouse gas emissions from the oil and gas sector with the co-benefit of reducing non-greenhouse gas emissions, such as volatile organic compounds and hazardous air pollutants.
The Methane Emissions Reduction Program includes the following financial assistance:
- EPA and DOE will provide up to $350 million in formula funding to eligible states to assist industry to voluntarily identify and permanently reduce methane emissions from low-producing (marginal) conventional wells. These investments are expected to improve the economic competitiveness of small and medium-sized producers while reducing associated harmful air pollution, mitigating health effects in nearby communities, and creating jobs in energy communities. States also will be able to use a portion of their award for environmental restoration and to invest in their monitoring capacity for low-producing conventional wells, which will improve their ability to identify sources of methane emissions and to effectively prioritize their mitigation. NETL issued the funding opportunity announcement on August 30, 2023.
- EPA and DOE intend to offer additional competitive solicitations to monitor and mitigate methane emissions from the oil and gas sector, which will be available to a broader range of applicants and are expected to advance the deployment of technologies and practices to monitor and reduce emissions of methane and other greenhouse gases.
- EPA and DOE expect to offer an additional financial assistance program for Tribal governments.
The Methane Emissions Reduction Program includes the following technical assistance:
- EPA and DOE will provide technical assistance to help states, industry, and other partners implement cost-effective solutions that reduce methane leak emissions. The agencies will support small and medium-sized producers that often lack the capital and expertise of the larger oil and gas companies and will work with partners to implement and prioritize best practices and mitigation decision-support tools across the broader oil and gas sector. This technical assistance will also ensure efforts are fully aligned with the needs of local communities and help inform key decision-makers of mitigation opportunities across states, industry, and other partners.
Overall, the Methane Emissions Reduction Program will help reduce inefficiencies of U.S. oil and gas operations, create new jobs in energy communities, and realize near-term emission reductions – helping reach the Biden Administration’s ambitious climate and clean air goals.
For more information about FECM’s Methane Mitigation Technologies program
Last Updated: November 17, 2023