Emily Bacha, Vice President of Public Affairs, November 2, 2021
Columbus, OH — Today, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a proposed rule to cut methane and other harmful pollutants from new and existing oil and gas operations.
This rule represents an important step forward and is a powerful signal that the Biden administration understands the harms of methane pollution from oil and gas operations; the rule will help slow down climate warming, and greatly improve health and air quality outcomes in communities across the country, including in low-income and communities of color. However, the proposed rule leaves important gaps to be filled in on critical issues such as frequent inspections for smaller wells and a ban on routine flaring.
The following quote can be attributed to Trish Demeter, Chief of Staff for the Ohio Environmental Council:
“Today’s announcement from the Biden administration demonstrates important progress towards cutting methane pollution, which in turn will slow climate change and ensure the health of our communities. The U.S. EPA should move quickly to strengthen and finalize the rule in order to protect frontline communities from pollution, hold oil and gas companies accountable, and act on climate.
“Methane is a greenhouse gas with more than 86 times the potency of carbon dioxide in the short-term and is responsible for a quarter of the global warming that we are experiencing today. Air pollution emitted alongside methane can trigger asthma attacks, harm lung development in children, and can increase the risk of developing lung cancer. This is a far-reaching issue as oil and gas facilities in the U.S. alone leak 16 million metric tons of methane a year. More than 3 million Ohioans live within a half-mile of an oil and gas site and are vulnerable to these pollutants.
“While we applaud today’s proposed rule, more must be done to stop the oil and gas industry from recklessly releasing millions of tons of methane pollution and toxic chemicals into the air that harm our health and speed up climate change. The U.S. already has the tools and technology to cut methane pollution from new and existing oil and gas operations by 65 percent of 2012 levels by 2025—at a low cost. And there is broad support for strong federal methane safeguards among the public.
“The health of our communities and our environment depend on bold action to cut dangerous methane emissions. There is no time to waste.”
The Ohio Environmental Council (OEC) is the state’s most comprehensive and effective environmental advocate for a healthier, more sustainable Ohio. The OEC develops and ensures the implementation of forward-thinking, science-based, pragmatic solutions to secure healthy air, land, and water for all who call Ohio home.
Press inquiries: ebacha<at>theoec.org.