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President Biden presents his national statement at COP26 in Glasgow, Scotland, on Monday. Photo: Andy Buchanan - Pool/Getty Images

The Biden administration announced Tuesday plans to reduce methane emissions from the gas and oil sector.

Why it matters: For the first time ever, the Environmental Protection Agency would move to regulate new and existing oil and gas operations for methane emissions, a potent greenhouse gas, Biden administration officials said at a briefing.

The big picture: The proposal follows Biden's executive order in January directing the EPA to issue regulations under the Clean Air Act to reduce the oil and gas industry's methane emissions. The president was expected to announce the new plan at COP26 later Tuesday.

  • The proposed rules would target methane leaks and occurrences of the gas being purposefully vented during production, according to the officials.
  • About 75% of all methane emissions would be covered by the new EPA rule, the officials said.

Of note: A sweeping UN report found in May that methane emissions from sources including oil and gas and agriculture have contributed to thousands more deaths per year from air pollution than previously thought — while simultaneously leading to a rapid increase in global average temperatures.

  • The world would need to cut 40-45% of human-caused global methane emissions by 2030 in order to avoid 0.3°C of warming, the report warned.

Go deeper: Biden's climate plan will require creativity and persuasion

Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.

Go deeper

Democrats pushing Biden to suspend federal gas tax

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Centrist Democrats are pushing President Biden to suspend the federal gas tax as a way of showing concern about inflation.

Why it matters: It's the strongest response yet from Democrats as Republicans make inflation a key part of their 2022 campaign messaging — but so far it's largely coming from candidates, not party leaders in Washington.

Movie theaters go out of style

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Vaccination rates are going up, people are going out to restaurants again — although the new COVID variant may get in the way — but they still aren't rushing back to the movies.

By the numbers: Some 49% of pre-pandemic moviegoers are no longer hitting theaters, according to a study from the film research company The Quorum, as reported by the New York Times.

1 hour ago - Health

Vaccine mandates lose steam in the U.S. while Europe doubles down

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

European countries are doubling down on pressure campaigns to get people vaccinated just as Republicans continue to wage war — often successfully — against vaccine mandates in the U.S.

Why it matters: The starkly different approaches create a sharp contrast between the regions' approaches to vaccination, even as the Omicron variant rapidly spreads around the world.