EDF President Statement on EPA Methane Rule

August 18, 2015
Lauren Whittenberg, (512) 691-3437, lwhittenberg@edf.org
Anna Geismar-Bowman, (512) 691-3468, ageismar@edf.org

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today announced a draft of the first national methane pollution standards for the oil and gas industry.

“This is critical step toward protecting our climate and public health. EPA is taking on a pollutant responsible for 25 percent of the warming we are experiencing today,” said EDF President Fred Krupp.

“The nation’s oil and gas companies emit over seven million tons of methane pollution every year, equal to the greenhouse gas pollution of about 160 coal fired power plants over the next twenty years. This proposal begins the important work of ensuring that the oil and gas industry reduces this pollution.

“There is ample evidence that technologies and practices exist to significantly cut methane pollution from the oil and gas industry. Some leading companies have adopted these practices, but too few have, which is why emissions remain unacceptably high. That’s why we need sensible standards to set a level playing field for everyone.

“Setting the first national standards for methane emissions from the oil and gas industry is an important move, but it can’t be the last. This proposal addresses methane emissions from newly built and modified oil and gas operations, but not from the existing facilities that account for all of today’s emissions and will still account for 90 percent of the problem by 2018.  

“In January, the President set a goal of reducing methane pollution 40-45% by 2025. Additional actions by government are needed to achieve this goal. The question to ask of any proposal is how far does it take us toward achieving a 45% reduction, and how quickly does it get us there? 

     - Fred Krupp, president of Environmental Defense Fund

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