Conceding to Manchin, Bill Exempts Most Oil Industry From Methane Fees

"The U.S. Senate climate bill’s fee on oil and gas industry methane emissions will cover less than half the sector’s releases of the powerful greenhouse gas, thanks to concessions made to win over party holdout Joe Manchin, according to a review of the legislation and interviews with lawmakers that negotiated it.

The reduced scope of the fee is among numerous changes made by Senate Democratic leadership to secure a deal on the hard-won Inflation Reduction Act, which is being hailed as the biggest climate package in U.S. history but which pales in comparison to President Joe Biden’s initial vision for legislative action on global warming.

The oil and gas industry is the top source of U.S. emissions of methane, a gas that is as many as 80-times more damaging to the climate than carbon dioxide and which scientists say must be controlled quickly to avert the worst impacts of climate change.

The fee aims to force oil and gas companies to plug leaks and stop deliberate venting of their methane during drilling, transport, storage and processing by charging companies for excess emissions, starting at $900 per metric tonne in 2024, rising to $1500 by 2026."

Valerie Volcovici and Nichola Groom report for Reuters August 9, 2022.

Source: Reuters, 08/10/2022