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Methane and Climate Change: What does the new U.S. EPA methane rule mean for Ohio?

NASA has confirmed that 2023 was the warmest year on human record. The latest IPCC climate report shows climate change is more urgent than ever before, signaling the need to reduce not only carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, but methane as well.

Methane remains in our atmosphere for roughly 10 years, whereas CO2 remains for centuries. However, over 20 years, methane traps nearly 80 times more heat than CO2. Reinforcing its status as a super pollutant, methane is also the primary contributor to ground-level ozone, or smog, a hazardous form of air pollution that causes 1 million premature deaths yearly.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) is countering these problematic public health outcomes and a warming world through new federal rules. Here’s how the U.S. EPA’s methane rule impacts Ohio.

Methane Reduction Requires Bold Climate Action

Reducing this potent greenhouse gas is bold climate action that not only a majority of Americans support, but COP28 demonstrated the international community supports as well.

In December 2023, the U.S. EPA issued a new rule limiting methane emissions from the U.S. oil and gas industry — the energy sector’s most significant contributor to emissions. 

As alarming as the need for bold climate action is, it befits us to consider the positive impacts to health, equity, economy, and industry accountability that the U.S. EPA’s methane rule will have in Ohio.

U.S. EPA’s Methane Rule: What You Need to Know

The U.S. EPA’s methane rule impacts environmental justice and Ohio’s economy while ensuring the energy industry is held accountable for reducing methane emissions.




  • Jobs: The new rule creates streamlined pathways to innovations in advanced methane detection technology such as satellite monitoring, aerial surveys, and continuous monitoring.
    • Ohio is a top 7 state for potential growth in methane emissions mitigation jobs, and stands to boost its economy even further with the new rule.
  • Wasted Dollars: The new rule will put stricter regulations on managing methane leaks and ban common industry practices such as venting and flaring.
    • The total wasted value of gas, through venting, flaring, and leaks is $93,087,000 just in the state of Ohio.


  • Monitoring: The new rule requires frequent monitoring and repair of methane leaks and ensuring all sites are subject to regular inspections, which includes low-producing and inactive sites.
  • Super Emitters: The new rule includes a super emitters program to monitor significant emission events and notify nearby communities in real-time to take protective action. This is a huge win for Ohio communities — especially those in Northeast Ohio who’ve experienced environmental injustice from overwhelming methane leaks.

What’s next in Ohio for the U.S. EPA’s Methane Rule?

The U.S. EPA’s methane rule targeting our nation’s oil and gas industry holds promise for Ohio by prioritizing our health, boosting our economy, and enforcing energy industry accountability.

Now that it’s finalized, Ohio agencies’ next step is to devise an implementation plan by 2026 for how oil and gas companies in the state will comply with the new ruling.

Take Action to Support the U.S. EPA’s Methane Rule

Make sure to follow the Ohio Environmental Council for updates on methane regulation and how state leaders plan to implement these rules in Ohio leading up to the 2026 deadline.

Learn about Ohio’s 20,349 orphan wells – and how our state has the most in the nation.