ALERT — Trump’s US EPA Rolling Back Methane Standards for the Oil & Gas Industry

by Duane Nichols on September 17, 2020

CH4, methane leaks and vents and flares are significant pollutants

Resist Trump’s Gutting of Oil and Gas Industry Standards

Dear Friends & Concerned Citizens, September 15, 2020

President Trump just announced the finalization of his reckless rollback of methane pollution standards for oil and gas facilities built since 2015. Methane is 87 times more potent a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide over a 20-year time period. 25 percent of the effects of climate change we see today are caused by methane pollution.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) just recorded Summer 2020 as the hottest ever in the Northern Hemisphere. This is no time to eliminate greenhouse gas pollution standards.

Please tell your federal elected officials to publicly denounce the finalization of this dangerous backslide of public health protections and to support the lawsuit against it. Real science and direct reporting show leaks are being underreported by up to 60%, and industry production is expected to significantly increase in the next 5 years.

The EPA admits on its own website that this rollback would raise methane emissions by 370,000 tons before 2025.

This harmful rollback of critical air quality standards during a pandemic threatens the health and safety of every person in the U.S., and disproportionately Black and Brown communities.

The last thing that communities already bearing a heavier public health burden need is the elimination of pollution protections that keep them safe.

Tell your elected officials to denounce the finalization of this dangerous backslide … !!!

Sincerely, Joseph Otis Minott, Esq.
Executive Director and Chief Counsel
Clean Air Council — Clean Air Council


See also: “Clean Air Council Condemns EPA’s Dangerous Rollback of Methane Protections,” August 13, 2020

PHILADELPHIA, PA (August 13th, 2020) – Today, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalized its unlawful rollback of the 2016 New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) for the oil and gas sector, directly contradicting EPA’s obligations under the Clean Air Act. The NSPS has been in full effect and successfully implemented for years now and has prevented millions of tons of methane, an extremely potent climate pollutant, from leaking into the atmosphere. The NSPS rollback has faced major opposition from the general public, scientists, health experts, and even major oil and gas companies, including Exxon Mobil and BP. Methane leaks at every phase across the oil and gas supply chain, and is responsible for about one quarter of the anthropogenic climate change we are experiencing today.

In addition, other harmful pollutants, including known carcinogens such as benzene, leak alongside methane from oil and gas operations. The 2016 NSPS required natural gas drilling companies to perform routine, commonsense inspections and repair leaks at oil and gas facilities. EPA’s unlawful rollback reduces inspection frequency substantially despite no factual basis in the record for doing so. Indeed, the evidence is clear that frequent inspections are necessary to identify leaks, that doing so is cost-effective, and that inspections actually generate substantial savings for operators.

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