Pipeline leaks have spilled nearly 10 billion cubic feet of methane gas pollution into the atmosphere, Reuters reports, warming the climate as much as running four coal power plants for a year. But pipeline operators are virtually immune from consequences and those emissions are omitted from U.S. greenhouse gas pollution totals. A proposed EPA rule, however, would crack down on large, accidental leaks with fines of $900 to $1,500 per metric ton methane pollution and include those emissions in the country’s official greenhouse gas pollution totals. Methane traps over 80 times more heat in the atmosphere than CO2 over a 20 year time scale and its emissions from oil and gas operations have been undercounted by the EPA. An EDF analysis last year estimated gas pipelines across the U.S. spilled 1.2 million and 2.6 million tons of methane per year; 3.75 to 8 times greater than EPA estimates. (Reuters)