Reuters reports that it has seen a letter from ExxonMobil to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in which the oil major expresses its support for continuing Obama-era methane gas emissions rules put in place to combat climate change.
Back in September, the Trump administration suggested it may weaken the rules, which require drilling operations to repair any leaks of greenhouse gasses.
In the letter, dated Monday, December 17, Gantt Walton, a vice president at ExxonMobil, said:
“We support maintaining the key elements of the underlying regulation, such as leak detection and repair programs.”
The letter also express that the company regards that:
“…reasonable regulations help reduce emissions.”
Natural gas sometimes leaks from wells during drilling operations. Methane, its primary component, has 80 times as much ability to trap heat when compared to carbon dioxide during its initial 20 years in the atmosphere. This means that while it only accounts for 10% of total U.S. emissions, it contributes much more to global warming. Further to this, data from the EPA indicates the oil and gas sector as the biggest individual source of methane emissions.
ExxonMobil ‘s letter appears to be consistent with the company’s recent actions. The company, which in addition to its upstream operations also makes industrial lubricants like Mobil Vactra 4, also joined the Oil and Gas Climate Initiative, which is a collaboration among many large oil companies with the aim of reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the oil and gas industry.