Today, the Department of Interior announced its final revisions to a rule on methane waste prevention, which will roll back key elements of an Obama-era regulation that required companies to decrease methane leaks from oil and gas operations on public and tribal lands. Over a 20-year period, methane is over 80 times more potent at trapping heat in the Earth’s atmosphere than carbon dioxide.
In recent years, Climate Reality Leaders have been active supporters of efforts to curb planet-warming methane emissions from oil and gas operations. In 2016, for example, tens of thousands of Climate Reality Project supporters applauded the EPA for implementing rules to curb methane emissions from new oil and gas operations and urged the agency to develop rules for reducing methane emissions from existing operations.
Climate Reality President and CEO Ken Berlin released the following statement in response to the Department of Interior’s revised rule.
“At a time when storms like Hurricane Florence are getting stronger and more destructive thanks to climate change, we should be getting even more ambitious in cutting greenhouse gas emissions. Not dropping the ball entirely. What doesn’t the administration understand?
Today’s methane rule rollback marks another dangerously short-sighted decision by the administration that continues to prize polluters’ profits over the health and future of the American people. Methane is a powerful greenhouse gas, and failing to regulate its emissions on federal lands jeopardizes not only our public lands but also our atmosphere – which affects us all.
“While we are not surprised by this move, we should be galvanized by it – Climate Reality and its supporters will work tirelessly to counteract the effects of these anti-science, pro-polluter policies.