"The Trump administration's plan to soften methane standards for the oil and gas industry is the first step in a larger effort to dismantle greenhouse gas rules for the booming sector.
It might also cloud the reputation of natural gas as a climate-friendly solution to rising temperatures.
EPA wants to make several technical changes to how oil and gas operators monitor, detect and repair methane leaks. Those so-called fugitive emissions have become central to how favorably natural gas, of which methane is a major component, compares with coal in electricity generation.
A bigger blow to the methane program is expected later this fall. EPA is still tussling with a separate rulemaking about whether to cease regulating the potent greenhouse gas directly. Legal questions loom over that question, and industry is divided over ending the program."