Washington, D.C., Dec 2 — Today 128 groups sent a letter to the Obama administration’s Environmental Protection Agency calling for stricter limits and stronger standards for methane pollution from oil and gas development. On Sep 18, the EPA proposed a Methane Pollution Standard to cut methane pollution from new and modified sources as part the Obama administration’s Climate Action Plan.
“As world leaders gather in Paris in what may be the last chance to avoid catastrophic climate change, groups around the United States remind us that we have work to do here at home to rein in oil and gas climate pollution,” said Earthworks Policy Director Lauren Pagel. She continued, “The Obama administration’s Methane Pollution Standard, especially with a few improvements, will not only help fight climate change but also better protect communities from harmful fracking air pollutants like benzene.”
The letter calls for the EPA standard to be strengthened in several important ways. Among them: including related facilities on oil and gas well sites like compressor stations, making facilities easier to aggregate, and strengthening enforcement requirements. It also calls upon the EPA to regulate existing sources of methane pollution.
“We applaud the Obama administration for tackling the methane pollution and toxic chemicals that the oil and gas industry is carelessly emitting into our air,” said Pagel. She continued, “Methane traps more than 80 times as much heat in the short term than carbon dioxide — posing a near term threat to the climate and public health. It’s time to rein in pollution from existing oil and gas facilities and begin the transition to clean energy in earnest.”