Methane (Greenhouse Gas) Must Be Regulated in the Oil & Gas Industry

by S. Tom Bond on September 28, 2020


Dear Friends and Concerned Citizens,

Environmental groups, tribal organizations and 20 U.S. states are suing the federal government over its rewrite of the 2016 New Source Performance Standards for oil and gas facilities. Click here to register for the digital press conference.

When: Tuesday, September 29th, Noon-1PM

>> Caitlin Miller, Associate Attorney, Earthjustice
>> Robert Routh, Public Policy and Regulatory Counsel, Clean Air Council
>> Lois Bower-Bjornson, Outreach Coordinator, Clean Air Council

What: This online press conference will feature speakers involved in Earthjustice and Clean Air Council’s lawsuit against the Trump Administration’s recently finalized removal of the potent greenhouse gas methane from the 2016 New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) for oil and gas facilities.

Caitlin Miller, Associate Attorney, Earthjustice:

“The oil and gas industry is the largest industrial emitter of methane pollution in the country. Methane is 84 times more potent than carbon dioxide and is responsible for at least a quarter of all global warming we’ve experienced to date. Reducing the amount of methane pollution in our air isn’t just a matter of national importance, but one of global importance as well if we want to curb the impact of climate change before it’s too late.”

“Even beyond climate impacts, EPA’s rollbacks of methane emissions standards will also result in more volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and toxic air pollutants in our air, including known carcinogens like benzene. The impact will be even greater on the millions of people – often low income and people of color – who live just a few miles from these facilities.”

“Right now, especially in the middle of a worldwide pandemic, taking an action that will only increase air pollution – which has been proven to result in higher rates of COVID-19 deaths for people living in highly polluted areas – is staggeringly irresponsible.”

“EPA is abandoning its statutory mandate to protect public health and welfare, and reduce pollution with these rollbacks.”

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 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency admits on their own website that this rollback would raise emissions by 370,000 tons before 2025.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration recently concluded that Summer 2020 was the hottest ever recorded in the Northern Hemisphere.

Click Here to Register for Tuesday’s Digital Press Conference

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


{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Lee Burton September 28, 2020 at 2:28 pm

Methane: The other important greenhouse gas

Methane is the primary component of natural gas — a common fuel source.

Why are we concerned about it?

If methane leaks into the air before being used — from a leaky pipe, for instance — it absorbs the sun’s heat, warming the atmosphere. For this reason, it’s considered a greenhouse gas, like carbon dioxide.

Why is it as critical to address as carbon dioxide?

In the first two decades after its release, methane is 84 times more potent than carbon dioxide. We must address both types of emissions if we want to reduce the impact of climate change.

While methane doesn’t linger as long in the atmosphere as carbon dioxide, it is initially far more devastating to the climate because of how effectively it absorbs heat.

Because methane is so potent, and because we have solutions that reduce emissions, addressing methane is the fastest, most effective way to slow the rate of warming now.

Where is it coming from?

Methane can come from many sources, both natural and manmade. The largest source of manmade emissions is the oil and gas industry.

About 25% of the manmade global warming we’re experiencing is caused by methane emissions *

How do we fix the methane problem?

Until recently, little was known about where leaks were occurring, or the best way to fix them. In 2012, we kicked off a research series to better pinpoint leaks, and to find solutions.

A summary of our 16 studies of the whole U.S. supply chain shows methane emissions are significantly higher than we thought, reinforcing that major reductions from this sector are urgently needed.

In May 2016, the EPA finalized the first-ever national rule to directly limit methane emissions from oil and gas operations, unlocking a new opportunity to reduce climate pollution. We’re working to defend these and related federal standards, which are under attack.

Safeguards in jeopardy

The EPA aims to gut rules that protect you from methane pollution

A closer look: Explore local leaks

Raising awareness about the scale and impact of methane leaks is essential to developing effective policy.

Our pilot project with Google Earth Outreach helps visualize the climate-damaging leaks found within local communities.

Explore maps of leaks in local neighborhoods


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