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Giant US gas plume illustrates the cost of leaking methane

It's a US$2b problem, with eight million tonnes lost annually - enough power for every home in the District of Columbia and the states of Maryland and Virginia

As early as this month, the Obama administration will announce new measures to shrink New Mexico's methane cloud while cracking down nationally on a phenomenon that officials say wastes taxpayer revenue and contributes to climate change.

Cuba, New Mexico

THE methane that leaks from 40,000 gas wells near this desert trading post may be colourless and odourless, but it's not invisible. It can be seen from space.

Satellites that sweep over energy- rich northern New Mexico can spot the gas as it escapes from drilling