SaveSave story

Exxon backs federal methane regulation

Photo: Cooper Neill / Bloomberg via Getty Images

America’s biggest oil company is supporting a federal regulation on emissions of methane, a potent greenhouse gas that’s also the primary component of natural gas.

Why it matters: The move puts the oil and gas giant at odds with many of its smaller peers that are urging President Trump to wholly repeal an environmental regulation issued by the Obama administration. It’s the latest and among the most significant signs that some of the biggest fossil-fuel companies want regulatory certainty over outright deregulation.

The gritty details:

  • Sara Ortwein, president of XTO Energy, a wholly owned subsidiary of Exxon, said in a blog post published on Exxon’s website Monday that the producer had recently joined European oil and gas companies in committing to a set of voluntary methane reductions.
  • She goes on to say the methane emissions of those companies “constitute a very small fraction of the overall natural gas picture. The correct mix of policies and regulations help raise the bar.”
  • An Exxon spokesman told Axios in an email that “we’re sharing our view with regulators.”

Yes, but: Company officials fell short of saying they are explicitly calling on the Trump administration to actually issue regulations. It's a subtle but important distinction that's similar to its public support of a carbon tax, despite not actively lobbying Congress to pass one.

What’s next: The Interior Department and Environmental Protection Agency are both still working out to what degree (if at all) they issue regulations on methane, after working to repeal the ones the Obama administration had issued. The Interior’s rule under Obama would have affected existing and new wells on federal lands only. The EPA rule under Obama would have affected only new wells but on all types of lands.

Go deeper:

Khorri Atkinson 1 hour ago
SaveSave story

China slaps reciprocal tariffs on U.S. imports

China's President Xi Jinping speaks next to President Trump. Photo: Nicolas Asfouri// AFP / Getty Images

China announced plans to impose reciprocal tariffs on $3 billion of imports from the U.S., hours after President Trump ordered levies on a range of Chinese goods.

The details: China's plan includes a 25% tariff on U.S. pork imports as well as 15% tariffs on American steel pipes, fruit and wine, according to Bloomberg.

Haley Britzky 2 hours ago
SaveSave story

Former Playmate alleges Trump tried to pay her after sex

President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence walk into the Diplomat Room.
President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence walk into the Diplomat Room. Photo: Mark Wilson / Getty Images

Former Playboy model Karen McDougal detailed her relationship with President Trump — which he has denied — in an interview with CNN's Anderson Cooper on Thursday night, including the first time she met Melania and how he tried to pay her after the first time they had sex.

The details: The alleged affair took place while he was married to Melania and shortly after his youngest son was born. McDougal said they met while the Apprentice was filming at the Playboy mansion, and began seeing each other "quite frequently." She told Cooper that Trump told her he loved her "all the time," and that there "was a real relationship there."