Senate passes resolution to reinstate pollution standards for methane emissions from oil and gas sector

The White House is in full support of the resolution calling it "an urgent and essential step" to protect Americans.

Image Credit: HHakim/iStock

Last week, the Senate passed a resolution that reinstates the methane pollution safeguards for the oil and gas industry under the Clean Air Act of 2012 and 2016. The White House is in full support of the resolution calling it “an urgent and essential step.”

The previous administration “eliminated pollution standards for methane emissions from the oil and gas sector and eliminated all emission standards for the transmission and storage segments of that sector” and, in turn, “increased the amount of harmful pollution to which Americans are exposed,” according to a White House statement.

“We are thrilled the Senate has passed this resolution and taken such a critical step in the right direction to reducing methane pollution from oil and gas development,” Mahyar Sorour, Sierra Club deputy legislative director, said.

Methane is a pollutant that is 87 times more harmful than carbon dioxide responsible for approximately one-third of the global warming and is the primary component of fracked gas. According to the Sierra Club. “the oil and gas sector is the largest industrial source of methane emissions.”

“We are so grateful to Senator Heinrich for leading this effort to protect states like New Mexico from the worsening impacts of global climate change that are being driven by oil and gas methane waste and pollution,” Camilla Feibelman, Sierra Club Rio Grande Chapter director, said. “We’ve lost four years of time to make progress on curbing global climate change and protecting communities, so we hope to see the Biden Administration bring ambitious rules on methane and meet the moment.”

The resolution, S.J. Res. 14, will not only restore the Clean Air Act pollution standards, it will evaluate “stronger standards under section 111 of the Act to address dangerous methane and other pollution from both new and existing sources across the oil and gas sector,” according to the White House.

The House of Representatives will vote on the measure in the next couple of weeks.

“We look forward to the House following suit in the coming weeks and President Biden signing this measure into law,” Sorour said.


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