The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed the first-ever methane pollution standard for new and modified oil and gas facilities. This is a big deal – right now, the oil and gas industry is leaking millions of tons of methane and other toxic chemicals into the air. The proposed rule would help rein them in.
This regulation is a critical part of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan to cut greenhouse gas emissions by more than 40 percent by 2025. Throughout the country, methane and other harmful substances are released and allowed to leak from wells, compressors and pipelines, among other sources throughout the oil and gas sector. Methane emissions from the oil and gas sector are substantial – about one-third of total U.S. methane emissions. Tightly regulating this methane is absolutely critical to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and protecting public health. And cutting methane emissions will save energy since escaping natural gas is composed mainly of methane.
Curbing methane is a “win-win-win-win” that can save fuel, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve air quality and improve pipeline safety. Doing so is a critical near-term step toward implementation of the Climate Action Plan and continued U.S. leadership on climate protection and healthier air.
The EPA has begun accepting public comments on this proposal. As the oil and gas industry prepare an army of lobbyists and lawyers to oppose the rule, we have to make sure pro-environment voices are heard, loud and clear at the EPA. Join the League of Women Voters and thank Administrator McCarthy for protecting public health and our environment, and tell the EPA that you support a strong methane pollution standard.