FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(Dallas, TX) Environmental Defense Fund joined with dozens of Americans at an EPA hearing in Dallas today to defend a critical protection against methane emissions — one of the major contributors to short-term climate change.
EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler has formally proposed to completely eliminate regulations for methane emissions from the oil and gas industry across the entire supply chain. The proposal also seeks to remove federal rules for both methane and volatile organic compounds for facilities in the transportation and storage segment of the supply chain. EDF is strongly opposed to these proposals.
“The proposal abdicates EPA’s duty to address the urgent threat of climate change and endangers the health of Americans living near oil and gas facilities,” said EDF Attorney Rosalie Winn in her testimony today. “The current proposal appears to be an attempt to prevent any federal oversight of pollution from more than 850,000 existing oil and gas facilities across the country.”
Methane is a greenhouse gas that is more than 80 times more potent than carbon dioxide in the first two decades after its release. Methane from human activities is responsible for more than 25% of the global warming we are currently experiencing.
EPA’s proposal follows their earlier action last fall that would significantly weaken the pollution control provisions from the 2016 standards for the oil and gas industry — such as requirements to perform regular leak inspections. It also comes as many states and countries have moved to adopt methane standards for the oil and gas sector, and as several leading oil and gas companies have called on EPA to maintain, and even strengthen, federal methane standards, including by adopting standards for existing sources.
Today’s hearing is the only one EPA has planned to allow concerned members of the public to comment on the proposal.You can read Winn’s full testimony here.
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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 Twitter, Facebook, and our Energy Exchange blog.