On August 9th, the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the first part of its Sixth Assessment Report in advance of the global climate conference in Glasgow later this year. The report confirms methane gas pollution is increasing, a significant contributor to the climate crisis, and further that action to reduce methane emissions will help slow warming.
Methane is 86x more potent than carbon dioxide at warming the climate, but the pollutant is short-lived in the atmosphere. In the US, oil and gas is the largest industrial source of methane pollution. Earthworks has documented that pollution with optical gas imaging cameras, and the failure of industry, and state regulators across the nation, to adequately address it.
The Biden Administration is expected to propose new rules this fall to cut methane pollution from new and existing oil and gas production. EPA Administrator Michael Regan has publicly announced these rules will be stronger than the Obama-era rules recently restored by Congress.
Statement from Lauren Pagel, Earthworks Policy Director:
“A climate crisis demands emergency action. President Biden must use all the powers available to him including using the full power of the Clean Air Act to cut oil & gas methane pollution 65% by 2025, and declaring a national emergency on climate to stop fossil fuel expansion”
FOR MORE INFORMATION
- Reuters – “To save the planet, focus on cutting methane – U.N. climate report”
- IPCC Report – Summary for Policymakers – Climate Change 2021
- Earthworks Community Empowerment Project – optical gas imaging videos of oil & gas methane pollution
- Earthworks Loud and Clear: What public regulatory complaints reveal about state oversight of oil and gas pollution and whom it serves reports for Colorado, New Mexico, Pennsylvania and Texas
- Clean Air Task Force white paper: Reducing Methane from Oil and Gas: A Path to a 65% Reduction in Sector Emissions