Today’s methane CRA vote is step one

Stronger oil & gas methane rules are step two for Biden EPA

Background: Today the US House of Representatives voted 229-191 to pass a Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution that, along with the companion Senate resolution passed earlier this year, will reinstate the Environmental Protection Agency’s methane pollution safeguards before they were weakened by the previous administration. However, simply reinstating the Obama-era rules would not be enough for the Biden administration to meet climate goals. Even if they were applied to existing sources (the Obama rules only applied to newly permitted sources), the Obama rules would only cut methane pollution by 20 percent.

President Biden and EPA Administrator Michael Regan have promised to enact stronger-than-Obama rules, but have not committed to specific methane reduction goals. Even with stronger rules, to meet U.S. climate commitments all new permitting of oil and gas extraction and infrastructure must soon stop.

Statement from Lauren Pagel, Earthworks Policy Director: 

“Now that Congress has done its part to undo four years of reckless Trump administration neglect of America’s methane gas pollution problem, the Biden administration must do its part.

“As this bill heads to the President’s desk for his signature, Biden should also direct the EPA to use the full power of the Clean Air Act to reduce methane emissions from oil and gas by 65% by 2025.”