Press Release

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Statement on Trump Administration’s Proposal to Eliminate EPA’s Methane Rules

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler proposed to eliminate direct regulation of methane from the EPA’s New Source Performance Standards.

The following statement can be attributed in full or in part to Trish Demeter, Chief of Staff for the Ohio Environmental Council:

“Today, President Trump and his Environmental Protection Agency proposed to eliminate EPA’s methane rules. This dangerous move will rollback critical federal oversight of the nation’s 850,000+ existing source oil and gas wells, more than 1,400 of which can be found in Ohio, and will dramatically increase methane pollution, a harmful driver of climate change.

“The nation’s oil and gas industry releases over 13 million metric tons of methane pollution annually, and the problem is only likely to get worse as drilling continues to expand. Methane pollution has been linked to a quarter of all human-made climate change, and if we don’t act now to limit emissions, it will limit our ability to mitigate the effects of climate change and its harmful impacts on our most vulnerable communities.

“Addressing climate change is a problem that cannot wait. Shell, ExxonMobil, and BP have already urged the EPA to not rollback methane emission protections, but to instead tighten those standards. If the people and the industry are in support of tighter standards, why is the Trump administration determined to dismantle these protections?

“This rollback is bad for our state, our country, and our climate. There is no time to waste. We must act now to protect communities by strengthening, not cutting, federal methane standards.”

 

Additional Information:

  • Ohio has 1,402 wells that must comply with the EPA methane rules.
  • Methane pollution has been linked to a quarter of all human-made climate change. U.S. EPA projections show industrial methane pollution will increase by 25% over the next decade and, if protections continue to be rolled back under the current administration, that percentage is likely to grow.
  • Methane accelerates climate change, which creates hotter temperatures and wetter seasons, and is also associated with unhealthy levels of ozone pollution. Ozone is linked to cardiovascular disease, asthma attacks, and premature death. We can’t wait to address these issues.
  • According to polling released by the American Lung Association in 2016, 67% of Americans support a strong methane standard.
  • BP, Shell, Exxon, and Equinor have urged the EPA to not rollback methane emission protections, but to instead tighten those standards.
  • Low-cost safeguards already exist to plug methane leaks from wells and can help mitigate these impacts, but most of the industry has failed to adopt these safeguards despite them being available options for years.