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Washington and Brussels are pushing for steep cuts in methane emissions in a bid to arrest the pace of global warming. In a proposal outlined at a virtual meeting of leaders from countries making up 80% of the global economy, the US and the EU on Friday put forward what they’re calling the “Global Methane Pledge” to reduce methane emissions by 30% over 2020 levels. Making those emissions cuts will “rapidly reduce the rate of global warming,” US President Joe Biden told the meeting. The Biden administration has proposed a federal program to employ oil and gas workers plugging leaks and capping abandoned wells. The US Department of the Interior also sent its proposals for regulating methane emissions on federal lands to the White House last week, but they have not yet been published. Democratic lawmakers, meanwhile, have advanced a plan to charge companies a fee for methane leaks, a proposal staunchly opposed by industry. The cooperation on methane emissions reductions between Europe and the US is a marked shift from a year ago, when concerns over uncontrolled methane in the US came to a head. Concerns over uncontrolled venting and flaring were partly to blame for French utility Engie’s decision to walk away from LNG supply talks with the US’ NextDecade.

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