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White House Expected to Order Reduction in Methane Gas Emissions

FILE - President Barack Obama speaks at Pellissippi State Community College.

Sources close to the White House say President Barack Obama will announce a plan this week to reduce methane gas emissions from the oil and gas industry.

The president’s plan could slash methane gas emissions by as much as 45 percent by 2025 from their 2012 levels.

Methane, a major component of natural gas, accounts for 9 percent of total greenhouse gas emissions in the United States. It is the second largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. from human activities.

According to The New York Times, the Environmental Protection Agency will draft the proposed rules later this year, and regulations would be finalized by 2016.

The energy industry argues that methane gas emissions from oil and gas production are down thanks to efficiencies and that voluntary standards are sufficient. However, an increase in drilling activity has focused attention on methane gas emissions.