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White House holds methane summit, launches task force

The White House on Wednesday held a summit aimed to address the planet-warming gas methane and launched a new task force dedicated to the issue.

According to a press release from the Biden administration ahead of the event, the summit was set to focus on issues including the task force’s establishment, technology to detect methane emissions, other “common sense” actions such as plugging abandoned oil wells and inspecting pipelines, responding to super-emitting events and leading international efforts to address the issue.

Methane is more than 25 times as powerful a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. It is responsible for about 20 percent of global climate change. Major contributors to methane emissions include the oil and gas and agriculture sectors, as well as landfills. 

The White House said its new task force will seek to “accelerate” plans to reduce emissions and “advance a whole-of-government approach to proactive methane leak detection and data transparency, and support state and local efforts to mitigate and enforce methane emissions regulations.”

It did not specify what exactly this entails or who is on it, though it was described as “cabinet-level.” A White House spokesperson did not respond to The Hill’s request for more information. 

The administration’s press release also did not specify who would attend the summit, though the American Petroleum Institute, an oil and gas lobbying group, said in a written statement that it was “disappointed” that no representative from its industry was invited. 

Source: The Hill

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