Allegheny County (Pittsburgh, PA) Supports Reduction in Atmospheric Methane Emissions

by Duane Nichols on December 13, 2018

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 11, 2018

Support for Methane Reduction from Existing Natural Gas Operations

PITTSBURGH – County Executive Rich Fitzgerald has added his support to efforts being undertaken by the Wolf Administration to reduce methane from the oil and gas sector by encouraging efforts to address emissions of methane from existing natural gas operations. His letter to Governor Wolf memorializing his verbal support of those steps follows:

“It was a pleasure speaking with you last week regarding my support for actions being taken by your administration to reduce methane from the oil and gas sector. I thought it best to memorialize that conversation and ask that you accept this letter as my formal support of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection’s Methane Reduction Strategy.

“My support of the energy industry and the development of energy in this region and state is well-known. I’ve also been just as bullish that it must be done in a responsible way so that public health and the environment are protected. We know that the oil and gas industry is the largest source of methane and that methane is one of the most potent greenhouse gases.

It has also been shown that emissions of methane and other pollutants escape oil and gas wells and that we must be diligent about looking for and limiting those emissions. The permits to control air pollution from new unconventional natural gas operations that took effect a few months ago will have significant impact on the reduction of emissions of methane and other compounds, but we must also address emissions of methane from existing operations.

As technologies and best practices continue to evolve, the ability for the industry to address and reduce these emissions continues to grow and, perhaps, just as importantly, is the right thing to do. I urge you to continue the strong work that you have been doing and to move forward with regulations that will require the same type of emission controls for existing facilities. This focus ensures that the health and well-being of our residents is priority.

“We can have both a strong economy and a healthy, safe environment. By continuing forward with your efforts to address reduction of methane from the oil and gas industry, we can have a significant impact in addressing this critical issue in Pennsylvania. I stand ready to help in any way that I can and thank you for your leadership on this issue.”

>>> Office of County Executive Rich Fitzgerald
101 Courthouse │ 436 Grant Street │ Pittsburgh, PA 15219


LETTER TO EDITOR: Denver Post, December 1, 2018

Keep the EPA’s methane policy

As a member of the student-led, environmental advocacy group, Defend Our Future, I had the privilege to attend the Environmental Protection Agency’s public methane hearing held in Denver on Nov. 14. I spoke out against the Trump administration’s proposed rollbacks of the New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) — an important policy put in place to protect our climate and health from the hazardous effects of methane.

This proposal by acting EPA administrator Andrew Wheeler is dangerous and horrendously nonsensical. A comprehensive, five-year-long study done by the Environmental Defense Fund revealed that at least 13 million metric tons of methane are emitted by the oil and gas industry every year — a number almost 60 percent higher than the EPA’s estimation. As they stand, the NSPS reduce nearly 21,635 tons of methane, 6,000 tons of smog-forming volatile organic compounds, and 450,000 pounds of toxic air pollutants each year. Doing away with these standards makes absolutely no sense.

The American people have a right to a future free of methane pollution and I encourage every Coloradan to voice their strong opposition to these proposed rollbacks.

Megan Thompson, Denver


The time has come for me to boycott the offending companies

Investors Call On BP, Exxon, Shell And More To Defend EPA Methane Regulations

Article by Kate Gaumond, Environmental Defense Fund, Forbes Post, December 11, 2018

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