The Biden administration released a finalized rule to crack down on methane pollution from oil and gas operations on federal and tribal lands on Tuesday. The rule, announced by the Bureau of Land Management, a part of DOI, will require drillers to submit plans to track and fix methane leaks in their operations and develop plans to eliminate methane pollution from leaks, venting, and flaring.

The BLM rule will also charge royalties on the methane gas released (purposely or not) into the atmosphere; BLM estimates the rule will bring in $50 million in annual royalties. Methane, the main component in so-called “natural gas,” traps more than 80 times more heat in the atmosphere than CO2 over a 20-year time scale. More than 44 billion cubic feet of methane gas pollution was released from operations on public lands between 2010 and 2020 — enough to power more than 670,000 homes.

The BLM rule follows the EPA’s release of a more comprehensive methane reduction plan at COP28 last December and a proposed rule cracking down on methane leaks from pipelines earlier this month. The U.S. is the world’s biggest methane polluter from oil and gas operations. The BLM rule will likely be challenged in court by fossil fuel interests. (BLM rule: (Washington Post $, AP, E&E News, Politico Pro $; Lawsuits: E&E News)