(MENAFN) In a significant move towards bolstering its climate legacy, the Biden administration unveiled a final rule on Saturday, specifically targeting the U.S. oil and natural gas sector to address its contribution to global warming. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that the rule aims to substantially decrease methane and other harmful air pollutants originating from the industry. The initiative also emphasizes the adoption of state-of-the-art methane detection technologies to achieve tangible public health benefits, including reduced hospital visits, minimized school absenteeism, and prevention of fatalities. Notably, air pollution stemming from oil and gas operations is known to pose severe health risks such as cancer, nervous and respiratory system damage, and birth defects.
The EPA Administrator, Michael Regan, and White House climate adviser, Ali Zaidi, revealed the final rule at the U.N. climate conference in the United Arab Emirates. Concurrently, the president of the climate summit disclosed that 50 oil companies, collectively representing nearly half of global production, have committed to achieving near-zero methane emissions and discontinuing routine flaring in their operations by the year 2030.
Vice President Kamala Harris, serving as the principal American representative at the summit, underscored the imperative for bold action from the U.S. and other nations in addressing the consequences of climate change. She emphasized the urgency of the moment, stating that the clock is no longer merely ticking but banging, and stressed the need to expedite efforts to compensate for lost time.
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