The U.S. House of Representatives followed the Senate’s lead and passed a resolution to reinstate the Environmental Protection Agency’s 2016 methane pollution safeguards. The resolution will reduce methane emissions for the oil and gas industry.
According to Sierra Club, “methane, the primary component of fracked gas, is a climate pollutant that is 87 times more powerful than carbon dioxide at warming the planet in the near-term.” A new report by the UN Environment Program confirmed that cutting methane pollution from both new and existing oil and gas operations is vital in tackling the climate crisis.
“Today’s vote brings us one step closer to undoing the Trump administration’s reckless assaults on vital climate and public health protections,” Mahyar Sorour, deputy legislative director at Sierra Club, said. “Now it is up to President Biden to sign this measure into law, and to build on these safeguards by instructing the EPA to act immediately to cut methane pollution from both new and existing oil and gas operations by 65 percent by 2025.”
While methane emissions reached a record high last year, the UN Environment Program said cutting human-caused methane by 45 percent this decade would keep warming beneath a threshold agreed by world leaders. The benefits to this include: the rapid reduction of warming, which can help prevent dangerous climate tipping points; improved air quality that can save hundreds of thousands of lives; improve food security by preventing crop losses; and create jobs through mitigation efforts while increasing productivity through reduced heat stress, according to the UN Environment Program
“There’s no time to waste: the urgency of the climate crisis demands these aggressive emissions reductions now,” Sorour said.