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The partnership will focus on deploying cost-effective technologies in landfill gas-to-energy projects, methane recovery projects at coal mines, and improvements in natural gas systems. "The Methane to Markets partnership follows our successful establishment of the International Partnership for a Hydrogen Economy and the Carbon Sequestration Leadership Forum," said Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham. "In addition to very substantial near-term greenhouse gas reductions, this new partnership will benefit the economies of developing nations."
The Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) applauded the partnership. "SWANA's Landfill Gas Technical Division actively promotes the recovery and utilization of landfill gas as a valuable, clean-burning, renewable energy source that directly benefits the local economy by creating jobs and establishing a reliable long-term source of energy generating capacity," said Kent Drinker, SWANA technical divisions senior manager.
Partnership efforts could reduce net methane emissions by up to 50 million metric tons of carbon equivalent annually by 2015 and continue at this level or higher in the future. This is the carbon equivalent of removing 33 million cars from roadways for one year or eliminating emissions from fifty 500-megawatt coal-fired power plants. The U.S. will commit up to $53 million over the next five years to facilitate the development and implementation of methane projects in developing countries and countries with economies in transition.
Other U.S. departments playing a key role in the partnership include the Department of State, Department of Energy and the Agency for International Development. See www.epa.gov/methane/international.html.