New federal agency collaboration leverages investments made possible by President Biden’s Investing in America agenda to protect communities from harmful pollution

June 30, 2023

WASHINGTON – On June 30, 2023, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced their partnership to provide more than $1 billion in funding from President Biden’s Investing in America Agenda to help reduce wasteful methane emissions from the oil and gas sector, one of the primary drivers of the climate crisis.

“We know how harmful methane pollution can be as a potent greenhouse gas,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. “Through President Biden’s historic investments in America, this joint EPA-DOE effort provides the United States with an opportunity to significantly reduce releases of methane, pushing back against one of the primary drivers of climate change. This investment from the Inflation Reduction Act will also incentivize critical reduction of air pollution, particularly in overburdened communities, to protect public health and slow the rate of climate change.”

This collaboration will leverage EPA and DOE’s shared commitment to, and joint expertise in, advancing methane monitoring and reduction technologies for the oil and gas sector. The agreement also includes the DOE National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL), which brings expertise in quantifying and reducing methane emissions from leaks and inefficient operations. EPA will develop the regulatory elements of the Methane Emissions Reduction program and work closely with DOE on the financial and technical assistance aspects of the program. This cooperative approach to tap each agency’s strengths will ensure that funds are distributed quickly and effectively, helping increase the efficiency of U.S. oil and gas operations and realize near-term emission reductions and public health benefits.

“The EPA-DOE partnership announced today will build upon and complement DOE’s existing efforts to monitor and mitigate methane emissions across the nation’s oil and natural gas producing regions,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “An effective clean energy transition requires a whole-of-government approach. This partnership will support innovation while improving the health of frontline communities most at risk to climate change.”

These investments are made possible by President Biden’s Investing in America agenda, which aim to strengthen the nation’s infrastructure, create a manufacturing and innovation boom powered by good-paying jobs, and build a clean-energy economy to combat climate change and make our communities healthier and more resilient.

About the Methane Emissions Reduction Program
The Methane Emissions Reduction Program will improve methane monitoring and accelerate the reduction of methane and other greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the oil and gas sector and will have the co-benefit of reducing non-GHG emissions such as volatile organic compounds and hazardous air pollutants. The program will advance these efforts by providing financial and technical assistance for a number of activities, including: preparing and submitting greenhouse gas reports, monitoring methane emissions, and reducing methane and other greenhouse gas emissions by improving and deploying equipment, supporting innovation, permanently shutting in and plugging wells, mitigating health effects in low-income and disadvantaged communities, improving climate resiliency, supporting environmental restoration, and mitigating legacy air pollution.

Additionally, the financial and technical assistance program will support President Biden’s Justice40 Initiative which set the goal that 40 percent of the overall benefits of certain Federal investments flow to disadvantaged communities.

More information on the Methane Emissions Reduction Program