Chair Castor Statement On Resolution To Restore Methane Pollution Safeguards
On Friday, Chair Kathy Castor of the Select Committee on the Climate Crisis released the following statement after the House of Representatives passed S.J. Res. 14, a joint resolution to restore methane pollution safeguards:
"It is imperative that we work together to reduce harmful methane pollution as soon as possible. That is why I strongly support H.J.Res.34 which will get America back on track in controlling methane pollution and leaks.
"Methane is a highly potent gas that, pound for pound, traps more than 80 times as much heat on our planet in the short term as carbon dioxide. Plugging methane pollution leaks is good for our public health, as it can reduce the risk of asthma, heart attacks, and premature deaths. Reducing methane pollution is good for the climate, it’s good for business, and it will create thousands and thousands of jobs across America. That’s why there is broad consensus from energy companies, local communities, the tourism industry, labor groups, environmental organizations, environmental justice leaders, and faith leaders on methane pollution control.
"In fact, in 2019, when my Select Committee on the Climate Crisis was doing our broad outreach to develop recommendations for solving the climate crisis, this was an area where we reached broad consensus, as a wide range of stakeholders and scientists told us reducing methane pollution would be needed to help save our planet.
"Adopting today’s resolution will restore common-sense safeguards to limit methane pollution from oil and gas production, as we reverse the Trump Administration’s misguided efforts that stopped them. Restoring these safeguards is one of the recommendations we included in the Select Committee’s Climate Crisis Action Plan. It’s a modest and straightforward step in the right direction, but it’s a very important one.
"Controlling dangerous methane pollution has broad support. A recent Morning Consult poll found that an overwhelming majority of Americans - including 81 percent of Republicans - support congressional actions requiring oil and gas companies to regulate, check for, and fix methane leaks.
"And it is more important now than ever. This year, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced that, despite the COVID-19 pandemic and the various shutdowns around the globe, carbon dioxide and methane emissions surged in 2020, including the largest increase in methane emissions recorded since record-keeping began nearly four decades ago.
"Furthermore, we know that fossil fuels are playing an outsized role in this crisis. According to an analysis published by scientists from NASA and Stanford last year, fossil fuel-related methane emissions in the United States contributed approximately 80% of the total increase of methane for North America from 2006 to 2017. Stopping methane and other pollution from oil and gas production is an important step in solving the climate crisis. Even major oil companies - from BP America to Shell to ExxonMobil - support federal regulation of methane pollution. Building on the examples of Colorado, Wyoming and Ohio, a nationwide standard is critical to protect Americans everywhere from harmful air pollution stemming from oil and gas production.
"Let’s be clear: We must cut methane pollution to prevent catastrophic climate change. Today we have the opportunity to move in that direction by supporting this resolution. This an important step, and it is the least we can do. I want to thank my good friends Congresswoman DeGette and Congressman Peters for your outspoken advocacy on this matter, and I look forward to working with my colleagues and the Biden Administration to build on this progress."