Methane supercharges climate change. The U.S. has a new plan to slash it. – National Geographic

by | Aug 19, 2022 | Climate Change

The Inflation Reduction Act is the most significant investment the U.S. government has made in fighting climate change, putting more than $369 billion toward projects that will reduce planet-warming emissions. While much of the bill, signed into law by President Joe Biden on Tuesday, will pay for incentives like tax breaks for renewable energy construction and electric vehicle purchases, it also quietly introduced the country’s first ever fee on a greenhouse gas. Methane emissions, which can contribute more to warming over a much shorter period than carbon dioxide, could be subject to a fee starting in 2024. Cutting the amount of methane released into the atmosphere is one of the easiest and most effective ways to fight climate change, according to a U.N. report released last year. While environmentalists say the fee is a step in the right direction, the fight to control release of the gas is just getting started. Crucially, the Environmental Protection Agency is set to release new regulations early next year that will define the threshold at which an oil or gas facility is subject to the emissions fee on methane.“I think this is huge and transformational progress,” says Dan Grossman, a methane expert at the Environmental Defense Fund. “But we can always do more. It’s a pernicious problem.” (Read more about how this new bill will dramatically reduce em …

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