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Media Contact:

Justin Wasser, 202.753.7016, jwasser@earthworks.org

Background: On Wednesday, President Biden announced a new cabinet-level Methane Task Force and reiterated the prioritization of addressing the pervasive problem of methane pollution from the oil & gas industry, both in the US and internationally. The announcement was made during the first White House Summit on Methane. The announcement comes on the heels of a poll released by Earthworks Action Fund and other partners earlier this week showing more than ⅔ majority support for bold action on methane emissions and a separate analysis finding 10,000 jobs could be created in these efforts to reduce oil & gas air pollution.

Statement by Earthworks Policy Director Lauren Pagel:

“The importance of President Biden making it a major priority of his administration to cut oil & gas methane pollution cannot be understated. The harms to climate and the health of communities on the frontline of oil and gas extraction are nothing short of dire. This administration is right to harness more of its existing resources to reduce oil and gas air pollution. However, it must move forward with more accountability for industry and the inclusion of environmental justice communities as stakeholders.

“More broadly, missing in the President’s announcement is acknowledgement of what climate science clearly shows. There is no climate fix without stopping fossil fuel expansion. While reducing methane will buy the world more time to address the climate crisis, only a rapid transition to renewable energy will stave off the worst effects of climate disaster.

“The administration’s commitment to methane reduction is important. But in order to live up to President Biden’s climate and justice goals, he must declare a climate emergency and stop the buildout of fossil fuel infrastructure.”

For more information:

White House Fact Sheet on WH Methane Summit, (7/26/2023)

Poll: New Poll Finds 68% Support EPA Safeguards to Reduce Methane and Flaring Pollution from Oil and Gas Operations is Good Policy and Politics (7/24/2023)

Analysis: Tens of thousands of quality jobs that could be created with full and continuing adoption of leak reducing technologies and practices over the next decade.