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Advocates call for a climate peace clause in U.S.-E.U. trade talks, negotiations yield a tentative debt ceiling deal, an Idaho case unravels federal water protections, and a wet spring eases Iowa's drought.

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Gold Star families gather to remember loved ones on Memorial Day, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy says the House will vote on a debt ceiling bill this week and America's mayors lay out their strategies for summertime public safety.

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The growing number of "maternity care deserts" makes having a baby increasingly dangerous for rural Americans, a Colorado project is connecting neighbor to neighbor in an effort to help those suffering with mental health issues, and a school district in Maine is using teletherapy to tackle a similar challenge.

NY Launches Methane Reduction Plan

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Thursday, 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.




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