Washington, DC — Today, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) put forward a proposal to weaken the agency’s standards limiting methane pollution from new oil and gas facilities. These standards — finalized in 2016 after 900,000 public comments — are common sense measures that recognize the reality of a booming domestic oil and gas industry and a rapidly warming climate partly caused by methane pollution. The EPA’s proposal would allow more releases of methane, a potent greenhouse gas and an important resource, threatening wildlife and public health. This step is expected to be followed soon by a final gutting of parallel standards at the Bureau of Land Management, leaving little federal regulation of methane emissions in place.
“Methane emissions exacerbate climate impacts — extreme weather, wildfires, and rising seas — and threaten wildlife and communities alike,” said Collin O’Mara, president and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation. “This regulatory rollback runs counter to the EPA’s mission and scientific consensus that reducing methane emissions is one of the most cost-effective ways to act on climate. EPA should reverse course and implement the existing methane rule so that, at minimum, future oil and gas facilities will be a cleaner and more efficient.”
The 2016 EPA methane rule set performance standards for new and modified oil and gas facilities, requiring companies to regularly look for and repair leaks in infrastructure, and to reduce intentional flaring and venting of methane pollution. Methane has 80 times the global warming potential in the near-term of carbon dioxide, and is the primary component of natural gas.
For more information about methane pollution and wildlife and public health impacts, the 2016 rule, and a timeline of regulatory rollbacks, see:
The National Wildlife® Photo Contest celebrates the power of photography to advance conservation and connect people with wildlife and the outdoors.Enter Today
President and CEO Collin O’Mara reveals in a TEDx Talk why it is essential to connect our children and future generations with wildlife and the outdoors—and how doing so is good for our health, economy, and environment.Watch Now
Ditch the disposables and make the switch to sustainable products.Shop Now
Search, discover, and learn about wildlife. Anywhere, any time.Get the Apps
More than one-third of U.S. fish and wildlife species are at risk of extinction in the coming decades. We're on the ground in seven regions across the country, collaborating with 53 state and territory affiliates to reverse the crisis and ensure wildlife thrive.