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DOE & EPA Announce $850 Million in Methane Emissions Reduction Grants

Last week the Department of Energy (DOE) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced $850 million towards grants to reduce methane emissions in oil and gas production as part of the Inflation Reduction Act.

The “Methane Emissions Mitigation and Quantification Program” Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA), which is now open for registration online, is focused on minimizing methane emissions “during production, processing, and transportation across the oil and natural gas industry, with the goal of eliminating methane emissions from carbon-based fuel supply chains by 2030.”

According to DOE, the $850 million will be released in three categories:

  1. Three awards for projects focused on reducing emissions from existing oil wells and infrastructure
  2. Twenty-six awards for projects addressing leaks in equipment such as engines and compressors
  3. Projects enhancing methane leak monitoring in communities near oil and gas facilities and for partnerships aimed at tracking emissions in specific basins

The solicitation process for funding is open to a broad range of U.S. entities including industry, academia, NGOs, tribes and state and local government. Currently responses to the FOA are due August 26, 2024. Applicants are required to submit “Community Benefits Plans” along their proposals showing “commitments to community and labor engagement, quality job creation, diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility, and benefits to disadvantaged communities as part of the Justice40 Initiative.”

For Energy Workforce member companies, the grants could present an opportunity to further develop and deploy technologies the sector is already working on. These grants could also support smaller players in the U.S. as they comply with new emissions rules and increase efficiencies in their operations.

Biden’s Methane Actions

This funding is part of a wider range of actions from the Biden Administration strategy on methane emissions. Most recently, EPA finalized the Waste Emissions Charge rule (Subpart W) requiring EPA to develop standards to collect fees related to methane from facilities over certain thresholds. In December, EPA announced a rule requiring oil and gas operators to monitor methane leaks and banning flaring which received strong pushback from the state of Texas. Industry, including Energy Workforce, strongly reacted to the EPA’s methane fee charging operators for methane emissions as “a misguided and harmful regulation that disregards the significant emissions reductions already achieved by the energy industry.”

Maria Suarez-Simmons, Senior Director Energy Policy, writes about industry-specific policies for the Energy Workforce & Technology Council. Click here to subscribe to the Energy Workforce newsletter, which highlights sector-specific issues, best practices, activities and more.


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