White House to unveil plan to cut greenhouse gas methane as soon as Friday

by Reuters
Friday, 28 March 2014 14:23 GMT

A warning sign for a natural gas pipeline is seen as gas flares at an oil pump site outside of Williston, North Dakota, March 11, 2013. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

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(Adds background on methane plan)

WASHINGTON, March 28 (Reuters) - The Obama administration will propose a strategy to slash emissions of the potent greenhouse gas methane as soon as Friday, a source with an environmental group said.

The strategy is part of President Barack Obama's climate action plan announced last year. The source, who could not be named because the plan has not been released, said the strategy could target everything from agriculture to the energy industry, but could not offer any other details.

Methane, a greenhouse gas far more potent than carbon dioxide, is the main component of natural gas. The largest U.S. industrial source of methane is oil and natural gas operations.

The methane plan was developed by the Environmental Protection Agency with input from the Departments of Energy, Transportation and Agriculture, John Podesta, an adviser to Obama, told reporters last week. He said then the plan was soon to be finalized.

In the first 20 years after it is released, methane is 84 times more potent than carbon dioxide in trapping more heat, scientists with the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change have said. (Reporting by Timothy Gardner; Editing by Susan Heavey)

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