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API urged the agency to consider the cost and availability of equipment, labour and other resources to comply with the regulations.

By Joseph Murphy

The American Petroleum Institute (API) on November 30 welcomed the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)'s proposed methane regulations, but urged the agency to take into consideration the cost and availability of resources to comply with the rules.

In an EPA hearing on the proposals, API's vice president of upstream policy Kevin O'Scannlain said the group's members supported the regulation of methane emissions from new and existing sources, and would work with the agency and the Biden administration "to identify emission control opportunities that are cost-effective, facilitate innovation and further the progress made in reducing emissions."

API also acknowledges the EPA's inclusion of an alternative fugitive emissions monitoring option that allows for the use of advanced detection technologies, he said, and its incorporation of streamlined recordkeeping and reporting requirements, and the in-house engineer certification option.

"With respect to rule implementation, we urge EPA to carefully consider the availability and cost of equipment, labour and other required resources needed to comply with the proposed standards,” O’Scannlain ended his testimony saying. “These aspects are especially critical in setting workable implementation timelines, given the hundreds of thousands of existing sources that may require retrofit, and current well-documented supply chain shortages.”

EPA and EIA data shows that average methane intensity declined by more than 70% between 2011 and 2020 in five major US production regions.