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Environmental brief ~ 13 countries join US to reduce methane emissions

[JURIST] In Wednesday's environmental law news, the US has encouraged 13 other countries to join an international agreement to reduce methane emissions by trapping the gas and using it for power generation. The program, Methane to Markets, is an attempt to reduce methane emissions by up to 50 million metric tons annually by 2015. The EPA press release is here. The Washington Post has more.

In other news, Nigerian Senate President Wabara has called on the Shell Oil to pay roughly US$1.2 billion in damages or leave the country. The Nigerian House of Representatives had created an arbitration panel that ruled that the company must pay the money as compensation for environmental and general damage supposedly caused by the company's Niger Delta operations. The Senate followed with its own resolution calling for the payment of damages. The company has not responded directly to the panel's ruling or the resolutions. The government press release is here. Nigeria's Vanguard has more on the current action.... The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management is considering changes to its air pollution control laws that would decrease the level of emissions allowed from cars and other vehicles. The changes would be stricter than current federal standards under the Clean Air Act, would effect cars beginning in the 2008 model year, and would be in line with standards currently used by California, Maine, Massachusettes, New York and Vermont. The proposed regulation amendments are here [PDF]. AP has the story.

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