Program participants from around the world seeking to use methane as clean fuel Seven oil and gas companies are signing on as charter members of the Natural Gas Star International program, an expansion of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) domestic program to reduce methane emissions.

This cost-effective program to capture and use methane as a clean fuel protects the environment and provides immediate economic and energy-security benefits because methane is the primary component of natural gas, according to a September 26 EPA press release.

"Under the Bush administration's aggressive yet practical strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” said EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson, “the oil and gas industry is powering our economic success and helping improve our environmental future."

Charter partners include ConocoPhillips Canada, Devon Energy Corp., Enbridge Energy Co. Inc. in Canada, ExxonMobil, Marathon Oil Corp., Occidental Petroleum Corp. and TransCanada. Natural Gas Star International partners agree to submit an implementation plan within a year of signing and to implement within three years technologies and practices to reduce methane emissions where it is cost effective. As part of the agreement, partners also submit annual reports describing the measures implemented and corresponding reductions in methane emissions.

EPA will help partners with program implementation by analyzing emerging technologies, developing workshops and training courses, and communicating best practices.