METHANE AND OTHER GASES

Methane contributes about 12 percent of the U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. The primary sources of methane emissions in the United States are landfills, coal mines, natural gas systems, and domesticated livestock.


Methane Recovery and Reduction Strategy

In many cases, methane that would otherwise be emitted to the atmosphere can be significantly reduced through the use of cost-effective management methods or used to generate power. Therefore, methane control options offer tremendous opportunity to reduce greenhouse gas emissions at low cost or even at a profit. Several EPA programs are already delivering cost-effective methane reductions. The Action Plan builds on those programs and establishes new initiatives to reduce methane emissions from all of the major methane sources.

PRESIDENT CLINTON IS DIRECTING:


HFCs, PFCs and Nitrous Oxide Control Strategies

Due to high global warming potentials, long atmospheric lifetimes, and increasing emissions, hydroflourocarbons (HFCs) are a growing contributor to the climate change problem. HFCs are produced commercially as a substitute for ozone-depleting CFCs and are also emitted as a by-product of HCFC-22 production (another CFC substitute) . Perfluorocarbon emissions (PFCs), primarily from aluminum smelting, are also potent greenhouse gases. HFCs and PFCs are projected to grow from 20 MMTCE in 1990 to 45 MMTCE in 2000. Nitrous oxide emissions, mostly from fertilizer and chemical manufacture, currently account for roughly 3% of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions.[8]

The United States is the first nation to articulate a national strategy to control the emissions of HFCs and PFCs. The plan uses a combination of partnership efforts and regulatory mechanisms to minimize the future contribution of HFCs and PFCs to global warming, without disrupting the orderly and cost-effective transition away from CFCs.

PRESIDENT CLINTON IS DIRECTING:


Footnotes

[8]The current and future emission levels of these gases are subject to high degree of uncertainty. This same uncertainty affects the technical basis for estimating emission reductions from programs.