April 19, 2017

Weakening Methane Rule Would Come at Cost to Climate, Health

Statement by Michelle Robinson, Union of Concerned Scientists

WASHINGTON (April 19, 2017)—The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is re-considering a rule that would limit methane emissions from oil and gas extraction operations. This opens the door to weakening the rule, which is vital to protecting public health and reducing the risk of climate change, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS).

Below is a statement by Michelle Robinson, director of the Clean Vehicles Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists.

“There’s no dispute about the science here. Methane is an incredibly potent greenhouse gas, and the scale of methane emissions from oil and gas production is enormous. There are proven, low-cost ways to capture methane instead of letting it pollute our air, and the last administration put in place standards to make sure we do just that. It makes no sense for Administrator Pruitt to put those rules at risk.

“Instead of looking backwards to review well-reasoned rules based on clear science, the administration should be moving forward, extending these sensible protections to existing sources of methane.

“This is a clear case of EPA leadership listening to powerful industry voices rather than the evidence. The EPA’s job is not to protect Scott Pruitt’s friends in the oil and gas industry—it’s to protect the health and safety of Americans, based on science. Rolling back these rules would be a mistake not just for today, but for generations in the future.”

The Union of Concerned Scientists puts rigorous, independent science to work to solve our planet's most pressing problems. Joining with citizens across the country, we combine technical analysis and effective advocacy to create innovative, practical solutions for a healthy, safe, and sustainable future.