Today EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler signed two rules that weaken or eliminate key safeguards that reduce oil-and-gas sector methane pollution, a potent greenhouse gas. In response, Environmental Defense Fund President Fred Krupp issued the following statement:
“The Trump administration’s attempt to eliminate these sensible methane standards is fundamentally flawed. Like so many other administration rollbacks that have already been rejected by the courts, this one ignores the science, the public health impacts and the low-cost solutions we have at hand. These sensible pollution controls have been working to protect Americans since 2016. Investors, states, community groups and even leading oil and gas producers have all called on the EPA to retain and strengthen methane safeguards. The administration has no scientific or public health basis for taking this action, and EDF will forcefully oppose it in court.
“These rollbacks would have devastating effects on our climate and air quality, and will disproportionately damage the well-being of more than 9 million Americans who live within half a mile of wells affected by this rollback, including many Americans in our most vulnerable communities.
“The oil and gas industry is one of the largest sources of human-made methane pollution. Reducing methane from the oil and gas supply chain is the fastest, most effective way to slow the rate of global warming right now — but the rules signed today would instead allow an estimated additional 4.5 million metric tons of methane pollution into the atmosphere each year. This pollution has the climate warming potential, when considered on a 20-year basis, of nearly 400 million metric tons of carbon dioxide each year — equal to the emissions from around 100 coal-fired power plants annually.
“It is notable that this announcement was made in Pennsylvania, birthplace of the oil and gas industry, which emits more than 1 million metric tons of methane each year. This underscores the need for state leaders like Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf to continue to strengthen and finalize rules to cut emissions across the oil and gas supply chain.”
- Fred Krupp, president of Environmental Defense Fund
# # #
Environmental Defense Fund (edf.org), a leading international nonprofit organization, creates transformational solutions to the most serious environmental problems. EDF links science, economics, law and innovative private-sector partnerships. Connect with us on EDF Voices, Twitter and Facebook.