Statement: Methane rule rollback will lead to more greenhouse gas pollution

For Immediate Release

[Philadelphia]--The Trump administration proposed today to do away with the Environmental Protection Agency’s methane rules, which will eliminate critical federal oversight of hundreds of thousands of oil and gas facilities. 

Methane, the primary component of natural gas, is a powerful global warming pollutant. It is 86 times stronger than carbon dioxide at trapping heat in our atmosphere over a 20-year period. The EPA's own scientists say that approximately one-third of the nation’s methane pollution is generated by oil and gas operations. It is released in all aspects of the development and application of natural gas and crude oil, including production, processing, transportation, and storage.

David Masur, Executive Director for PennEnvironment, issued the following statement: 

“Simply put, this rollback would place the commonwealth’s present and future at risk. 

“This move to loosen regulations on methane, a potent greenhouse gas, flies in the face of science and the growing call from Pennsylvania’s citizens and businesses to urgently tackle the climate crisis. Instead of giving a green light to the fossil fuel industry to pollute even more, we need to cut pollution faster.

“Global warming is no longer a distant threat. It is a present danger and Pennsylvanians are suffering right now. July 2019 was the hottest month ever recorded globally, with more extreme heat and bad air days threatening our health across the commonwealth. Diseases like Lyme are on the rise in every county in Pennsylvania as ticks move into new territory and thrive in warmer conditions. And extreme downpours and flash floods are destroying property and taking lives across the state. 

“Our nation’s top scientists have warned that these impacts of climate change are expected to get much worse unless we stop emitting greenhouse gases like methane.

“It's time to put an end to these reckless rollbacks. Our families’ health matters, our homes and businesses matter, and our food security matters. We need to put the health and well-being of everyday Pennsylvanians over the interests of corporate polluters. Let’s work together to transition our society to 100 percent renewable energy, stopping the worst impacts of climate change and protecting future generations of the commonwealth.”

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PennEnvironment is a statewide, citizen-funded environmental advocacy organization working to promote clean air, clean water, and protect Pennsylvania’s great natural heritage. For more information about this and PennEnvironment’s other work, visit www.PennEnvironment.org.