“The first thing to do if you find yourself in a hole? Stop digging. Congresswoman DeGette’s bill would stop the Trump Administration from digging towards climate catastrophe by restoring Environmental Protection Agency and Bureau of Land Management safeguards that limit oil and gas industry climate pollution.
Three years of Trump Administration federal methane rule rollbacks have made it less likely we’ll meet the greenhouse gas reduction targets necessary to avoid runaway climate change.
Governors and state legislatures have been trying to fill the gap. Even major oil and gas companies, like Royal Dutch Shell and BP, have rejected Trump’s climate policies and demanded direct regulation of methane pollution from the oil and gas industry. But their efforts are no substitute for meaningful federal standards.” — Earthworks’ Policy Director Lauren Pagel
The Methane Waste and Prevention Act of 2019 introduced by Representative DeGette restores and builds upon commonsense, cost-effective solutions to cut methane pollution from oil and gas operations. It reduces waste on public lands, protects taxpayers, safeguards public health, and limits the severity of the climate crisis.
The bill would codify the U.S. Bureau of Land Management’s Methane Waste and Prevention Rule and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s New Source Performance Standards finalized in 2016, and would take the BLM rule a step further by providing even greater safeguards to prevent waste from development on public lands.
This legislation should be passed by Congress and signed into law by President Trump for many reasons, including:
- Four major companies–Royal Dutch Shell, BP, ExxonMobil, and Equinor–have directly and publicly demanded the Trump administration keep current EPA rules that cut methane from oil and gas operations and to expand upon them.
- Eight companies–including BP, ExxonMobil, and Shell–committed two years ago to “advocating for sound policies and regulations on methane emissions” by signing the Guiding Principles document to reduce methane.
- Thirteen companies–including the three previously mentioned, Chevron and Equinor–have established the Oil and Gas Climate Initiative “to work towards near zero methane emissions from the full gas value chain.”
- Trump’s own EPA analysis of the proposal acknowledges that it will result in increased methane pollution in the atmosphere and “may also degrade air quality and adversely affect health.”
- Representative DeGette’s home state of Colorado has had stronger rules in place for years without negatively impacting production. Colorado’s rules were written in cooperation with oil and gas companies and have been endorsed by the state’s oil and gas industry.
- Methane pollution is ubiquitous and ongoing. Earthworks visually documents this pollution across the country on an ongoing basis.
For More Information
Optical gas imaging videos making visible normally invisible methane pollution from oil and gas facilities: http://bit.ly/CEPvideos