U.S. industries along with state and local governments collaborate with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to implement several voluntary programs that promote profitable opportunities for reducing emissions of methane, an important greenhouse gas. These programs are designed to overcome a wide range of informational, technical, and institutional barriers to reducing methane emissions, while creating profitable activities for the coal, natural gas, petroleum, landfill, and agricultural industries.
The collective results of EPA's voluntary methane partnership programs have been substantial. Total U.S. methane emissions in 2005 were more than 11% lower than emissions in 1990, in spite of economic growth over that time period. EPA expects that these programs will maintain emissions below 1990 levels in the future due to expanded industry participation and the continuing commitment of the participating companies to identify and implement cost-effective technologies and practices.