Chair Castor Blasts Trump's Move To Eliminate Methane Pollution Limits for the Oil and Gas Industry
WASHINGTON (August 13, 2020) - Chair Kathy Castor (D-FL) of the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis released the following statement on Thursday, as President Trump and EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler announced they would eliminate federal safeguards designed to protect Americans from methane pollution, a dangerous byproduct of fossil fuel production:
“Instead of helping Congress ensure clean air for every American in the midst of a dangerous pandemic, President Trump has shamelessly pushed forward with his toxic polluting agenda, this time removing safeguards meant to protect communities and the climate from the oil and gas industry’s methane pollution,” said Chair Castor. “By eliminating requirements for oil and gas producers to detect and fix methane leaks, President Trump is taking the same oblivious and deadly approach he has taken throughout the coronavirus pandemic: ignoring experts, endangering families, and hoping the problem will simply solve itself.
“From the day he took office, President Trump has proven incapable of caring or acting to protect Americans from air pollution, which is putting them at higher risk of dying during the ongoing pandemic. Instead, Trump has continued to side with polluters and to prioritize politics above public health. As Democrats remain committed to solving the climate crisis, we will continue to push for new and stronger methane pollution reduction targets to protect our children, our communities, and our climate.”
In June, the Select Committee on the Climate Crisis Democrats released a majority staff report that called on Congress to cut methane pollution from the oil and gas sector. Specifically, the report recommended:
- Reinstating the EPA New Source Performance Standards for Oil and Gas Operations and the Bureau of Land Management’s Methane and Waste Prevention Rule;
- Establishing a national methane pollution reduction goal for the oil and gas sector of 65% to 70% by 2025 and 90% by 2030, relative to 2012 levels, and directing EPA and BLM to conduct rulemakings to achieve those reductions from new and existing oil and gas operations; and
- Setting limits on routine flaring of associated natural gas (methane emissions) at oil wells.
- The EPA's new rule would eliminate federal requirements that oil and gas companies systems and procedures to detect and fix methane leaks from wells, pipelines and storage sites. (New York Times)
- One rule that Trump’s EPA is expected to sign this week would likely totally eliminate federal regulation of heat-trapping methane emissions from oil and gas well sites nationwide. It would also remove standards for all air pollution from oil and gas transmission and storage facilities. This action would seek to prevent any future regulation of methane pollution from oil and gas facilities built before 2015. A second rule that Trump’s EPA is expected to sign would likely dramatically weaken the remaining standards, including by weakening requirements for lower-producing oil and natural gas wells to find and fix leaks. (Environmental Defense Fund)