Appalachian Mountain Club Welcomes Proposed Methane Pollution Standard

This week, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed the first-ever methane specific pollution standards for new and modified oil and gas facilities.  AMC has long supported stronger safeguards on air quality, including methane, ozone and other pollutants. When adopted, the new standards will mark significant progress in reducing the expected growth of methane and smog-forming pollution in our atmosphere. And, in conjunction with expected standards for existing oil and gas facilities, will bring our nation closer to meeting the Obama Administration’s goal of reducing methane pollution from the oil and gas sector by 40 to 45 percent by 2025.

Methane pollution is increasing in large part because of today’s oil and gas industry. The fracking boom, outdated and inefficient control technology, and leaky gas wells and pipelines, are major sources of emissions.  Methane is a potent greenhouse gas, trapping more than 80 times as much heat on our planet over a 20 year period than carbon dioxide. Because of inadequate regulations, the oil and gas industry is currently venting, flaring, and leaking enough methane pollution each year to heat more than 6 million homes, more homes than are in the entire state of Pennsylvania. Methane not only causes climate disruptions but also contributes to ozone pollution, which is a significant health issue for those recreating outside.  There must be no delay in finalizing the EPA’s newly announced methane standards, which will use existing, low-cost technologies to plug the leaks and stop the pollution, and will protect Americans’ health and the places we love.