U.S. Energy Department’s Natural Gas Initiatives a Solid Step, But Regulations Still Needed to Control Methane Emissions

July 29, 2014
Contact: 
Lauren Whittenberg, (512) 691-3437, lwhittenberg@edf.org
Elizabeth Curwen, (202) 507-4845, ecurwen@outreachstrategies.com

(WASHINGTON – July 29, 2014) Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) welcomed the U.S. Department of Energy’s new initiatives aimed at improving our country’s natural gas infrastructure by addressing emissions of methane, a climate-altering greenhouse gas leaking from equipment, pipelines and facilities used to develop and transport natural gas.

“Concern over the climate impact of methane emissions is widespread, and today’s announcements by DOE are further evidence of this,” said EDF President Fred Krupp. “They signal the Obama Administration’s continued recognition of the methane pollution problem and the need for urgent action. We thank Secretary Moniz, John Podesta, and their teams for their leadership in convening the methane roundtables. The government-led initiatives and stakeholder commitments coming out of these roundtables are promising, and I hope they are carried out on an expedited basis.

“Controlling methane is essential to protecting our climate and communities while conserving our natural resources. It requires all participants to work to minimize the risks and ensure we’re getting the potential value from natural gas. It’s clear from the number of commitments made today—by academic, consumer, environmental, labor, and industry stakeholders—that much can and must be done to prevent methane emissions. 

“These new initiatives and commitments are an important step. But voluntary commitments can only take us so far – we need coordinated federal and state regulations to address methane pollution and tighten emissions standards. An important new White House climate report, also out today, points to the devastating costs of failing to control greenhouse gas emissions, of which methane, along with carbon dioxide, is a key contributor. Sensible rules are an indispensable part of getting the job done.” 

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