Plaudits for methane recovery program

THE National Mining Association (NMA), the USA mining industry representative body, applauded what it called the Bush administration’s leadership in announcing the international Methane-to-Market Partnership. The program will focus on cost-effective methane recovery and promote its use as a valuable energy resource throughout the world.

Staff Reporter

“We think voluntary, market-based incentives and multi-national cooperation are the keys for addressing the climate change issues, rather than the mandatory target approach favored by some in the international community,” said NMA president and ceo Jack N. Gerard.

“The U.S. coal industry is a leader in coal mine methane recovery techniques and many of our companies have been working with EPA to improve recovery technologies. This partnership will help stimulate adaptation of these methane control technologies more broadly throughout the world, to countries with relatively high methane emissions. We will be pleased to work with EPA and others as this initiative goes forward,” Gerard said.

The partnership, announced by Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Mike Leavitt, is a U.S.-led, multi-national initiative to develop and promote cooperation on the recovery and use of methane. Also involved are Australia, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, United Kingdom and the Ukraine.

The US will commit up to US$53 million over the next five years to facilitate the development and implementation of methane projects in developing countries with economies in transition. EPA will play a central role in the partnership by building on the success of the agency’s voluntary domestic methane partnership programs.

Since 1993, EPA and other federal agencies have been working collaboratively with industry to identify and implement cost-effective methane emission reduction technologies and management practices. “These programs have helped bring total US methane emissions in 2001 to more than 5% lower than emissions in 1990, in spite of significant economic growth over that time period,” EPA said.