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OEC Statement on the Senate’s Passage of Resolution to Reduce Methane Pollution

Washington, DC — Members of the U.S. Senate today passed a critical resolution that uses the powers of the Congressional Review Act to restore methane emission regulations on the oil and gas industry. If the House passes a similar measure, it would reverse the Trump-era EPA methane rule that repealed the stricter 2016 EPA methane rule put in place during the Obama administration.

The following quote can be attributed to Miranda Leppla, Vice President of Energy Policy for the Ohio Environmental Council:

“The Senate’s action to reinstate the Environmental Protection Agency’s 2016 methane pollution regulations demonstrates the Senate’s commitment toward addressing our worsening climate crisis. We recognize the positive impact reinstating these rules will have on the health and safety of Ohioans and our planet.

“Not only did this resolution receive bipartisan support, leading industry leaders including Shell, Equinor, and BP have also recognized the need for more stringent methane regulations. Methane is a greenhouse gas with 80 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 leak 16.2 million metric tons of methane a year and around one quarter of Ohioans reside near active wells and are vulnerable to these pollutants. 

“We expect the House to pass a similar resolution reinstating the 2016 methane standards, and look to the EPA to strengthen rules so that we are on track to cut methane pollution from new and existing oil and gas operations by 65 percent of 2012 levels by 2025. The U.S. already has the tools and technology to make this a realistic goal to achieve at a low cost. The health of our communities and our environment depend on it.”