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Statement of Lauren Pagel, Policy Director, Earthworks

“With today’s announcement, President Obama starts to get serious about oil and gas methane pollution.

Prior to this announcement, his Administration has largely focused on pollution from yet-to-be-built oil and gas facilities. This announcement is of enormous importance because it starts to deal with the main problem – existing facilities.

This is great news for the climate. But it’s better news for the communities forced to live with the more than 1,000,000 active oil and gas facilities across the United States. Earthworks has documented more than 180 cases of oil and gas air pollution with an infrared camera specifically designed to detect this type of pollution.

No matter how stringent methane pollution controls are on new or existing facilities, you can’t change science. Burning fossil fuels pollutes the climate. That’s why there is no substitute for replacing fossil fuels with truly clean alternatives like renewables and conservation.”