Proposed Gas STAR Gold Program
About the Proposed Enhanced Voluntary Efforts
The proposed enhanced voluntary efforts support the White House Strategy to Reduce Methane Emissions (PDF) (15 pp, 1.9Mb, About PDF).
In 2014, EPA proposed the “Gas STAR Gold” program to encourage the voluntary reduction of methane emissions. Facilities would achieve "Gas STAR Gold" status by implementing a comprehensive suite of protocols based on cost-effective technologies and best management practices identified through the Natural Gas STAR Program. The key goals of the Gas STAR Gold program were to:
- Showcase facilities that are already achieving reductions in methane emissions.
- Encourage facilities to identify and implement opportunities to achieve further reductions in methane emissions.
- Create a framework for credible, transparent and consistent reporting on facilities that can be easily understood and compared.
- Recognize progress that companies are achieving in emissions reductions relative to their overall operations.
EPA engaged in an extensive stakeholder outreach process for the proposed Gas STAR Gold program. Stakeholders provided very helpful feedback that emphasized the need for flexibility and avoidance of a cross-sector “one size fits all” approach. As a result of this feedback, EPA is restructuring its approach on enhanced voluntary action in the oil & gas sector, and current plans move beyond the “Gas STAR Gold” program.
Goals of the New Program
While the new program is not yet set, the key objectives will be for EPA to enter into agreements with individual companies that achieve the following:
- Encourage innovation and ambitious commitments with flexible achievement mechanisms
- Provide accountability and transparency for reduction commitments
- Track progress toward specific methane emission reduction activities
- Achieve significant methane reductions that could reduce the need for future regulations
The new program will leverage federal programs and industry-led commitments. EPA seeks to use existing data collection structures (for example, the Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program) to the extent possible and ensure that the new program complements other efforts, such as the recently launched CCAC Oil and Gas Methane Partnership. EPA will also work with the Department of Energy (DOE), the Department of Transportation (DOT), and leading companies individually and through broader initiatives to develop commitments to reduce methane emissions. EPA has already received specific initiative proposals for industry-led commitments, including the One Future Initiative and the Downstream Initiative.
EPA Continues to Seek Feedback
EPA is engaging stakeholders to develop a framework that incorporates the efforts of the One Future Initiative, the Downstream Initiative, and other companies and groups. EPA plans to launch the enhanced program later in 2015. EPA welcomes proposals and feedback from other industry groups, individual companies and other key stakeholders. After releasing a draft proposal in spring 2015, EPA will be taking comments on the new approach. EPA plans to finalize the proposal during the summer of 2015 in order to launch the new program or programs later in 2015.
We look forward to having the opportunity to discuss specific proposed commitments or initiatives and how they could be incorporated into the new enhanced program.
Interested in discussing the proposed program directly with EPA? Please contact Carey Bylin at (202) 343-9669 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.