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U.S., Mexico to Collaborate on Capture and Reuse of Methane Gas

Release Date: 03/24/2006
Contact Information: EPA: Roxanne Smith, (202) 564-4355 / smith.roxanne@epa.gov EPA (en español): Lina Younes, (202) 564-9924 / younes.lina@epa.gov USAID: Jessica Garcia, (202) 712-5606 / jegarcia@usaid.gov

(Washington, D.C. – March 24, 2006) To improve the environment at local and global levels, the United States and Mexican governments have committed to developing clean energy projects in Mexico that will lead to economic benefits and enhance energy security and public health. Today, U.S. EPA Deputy Administrator Marcus Peacock and U.S. Agency International Development Acting Administrator Frederick Schieck joined Mexico's Undersecretary of Environment José Ramón Ardavín in signing a letter of cooperation to advance the capture and beneficial use of methane, a greenhouse gas.

"EPA is looking forward to working closely with our colleagues in Mexico and USAID to reduce methane emissions and bring clean energy to markets," said U.S. EPA Deputy Administrator Peacock. "This work will help us realize our joint commitments under Methane to Markets and meet our shared goals of reducing global methane emissions while enhancing economic growth, promoting energy security, and improving the environment."

USAID Acting Administrator Schieck announced that the agency will be providing more than $800,000 for initiative programs in Mexico. "USAID is committed to working with EPA and the Government of Mexico to promote and find productive uses for renewable energy." He continued, "USAID is providing this aid in continued support for environmental protection and economic growth in Mexico to assure Methane to Markets Partnership success."

Today's letter of cooperation represents a concrete step toward developing methane reuse projects in Mexico. Under the terms of this agreement, EPA, USAID, and the Mexican Secretariat of Environment and Natural Resources will work with local governments and the private sector to share and expand the use of technologies to recover and use methane gas that is currently released from natural gas and oil systems, landfills, underground coal mines, and agricultural operations.

The projects will be developed under EPA's Methane to Markets Partnership, a U.S. led Presidential initiative. The United States and Mexico are two of the 17 countries currently participating in the partnership, an international initiative launched in November 2004 to advance cost-effective, near-term methane recovery and use as a source of clean energy. Methane is a clean-burning fuel that is the main component of natural gas. The U.S. Government is committing up to $53 million over the next five years to support the Methane to Markets Partnership.

For more information: http://www.methanetomarkets.org or http://www.epa.gov/methanetomarkets
or http://www.usaid.gov/our_work/global_partnerships/gda/methanetomarkets.htm