The Environmental Protection Agency has finalized the first federal air and emissions standards associated with hydraulic fracturing (also known as fracking). The new standards would require companies to implement “green completion” techniques where gas is captured at the end of drilling, separated from the water and is routed through a pipeline for sale. The methane gas could then be sold by the oil and gas companies instead of emitted into the atmosphere. The standards do not go into effect until January 2015. giving oil and gas companies time to manufacture and implement these techniques. Read more here.
The EPA has also released new regulations on greenhouse gas emission standards for new coal power plants. These regulations would require new power plants to release no more than 1,000 pound of carbon dioxide per megawatt-hour. This limit is not achievable for coal plants without a carbon capture system.