September 18, 2018

BLM Rollback of Methane Rules Betrays Taxpayers and Will Exacerbate Climate Change

Statement by Jeremy Martin, Union of Concerned Scientists

WASHINGTON (September 18, 2018)—The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) announced today it will repeal rules requiring oil and gas extractors to limit the release of methane from existing operations on public and tribal lands.

Below is a statement by Jeremy Martin, senior scientist in the Clean Vehicles Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists.

“This is a short-sighted decision that betrays BLM’s responsibilities to taxpayers and will exacerbate climate change. By rolling back these rules, BLM is enabling fossil-fuel extractors to pollute with impunity instead of using proven, readily available technology to reduce waste. What’s worse is that at a time when the dangers of climate change are becoming ever more clear, BLM is choosing to increase emissions of methane, a potent contributor to global warming.

“Oil and gas extractors who profit from the use of public and tribal lands have an obligation to do so responsibly—to limit waste and control their pollution. With this decision—coming within a week of rolling back EPA rules limiting methane pollution from new and modified oil and gas operations—the Trump administration has made it clear they have no intention of requiring these companies to do the right thing. It defies science and common sense.”

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