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NY Launches Methane Reduction Plan

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New York's plan limits emissions from new and existing oil and gas infrastructure. (Roy Luck/Flickr)
New York's plan limits emissions from new and existing oil and gas infrastructure. (Roy Luck/Flickr)
May 18, 2017

ALBANY, N.Y. – New York state has taken a major step forward in the fight against climate change with a new program to reduce methane emissions.

Methane is the main component of natural gas. It leaks from pipelines and other gas infrastructure, and large amounts are generated by decomposing waste in landfills and agriculture.

On Wednesday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced a methane reduction plan consisting of 25 actions to cut emissions from all sources.

According to Conor Bambrick, air and energy director at Environmental Advocates of New York, the plan is critical to meeting the state's commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent by 2030 and 80 percent by 2050.

"You're not going to get there if you don't get at methane,” he stresses. “Methane is the second largest greenhouse gas emission source in New York, and it is by far the most potent contributor to climate change."

The governor has instructed state agencies, including the Department of Environmental Conservation to implement the methane reduction actions over the next three years.

With the Environmental Protection Agency backing away from existing and proposed regulations to reduce methane emissions, Bambrick maintains New York's actions will provide a model for other states, showing that taking on methane emissions is beneficial in several ways.

"Not only can you effectively bring down emissions and address a key contributor to climate change, you can also do so in a way that's going to be economically beneficial to the state,” he points out.

The governor's plan includes reducing emissions from both new and existing gas and oil infrastructure, saving natural gas that then can be sold as fuel.

Andrea Sears, Public News Service - NY