Biden EPA announces oil & gas methane public input process

Statement of Earthworks Policy Director Lauren Pagel

Earlier today the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced a public engagement process to gather input on new safeguards to reduce methane pollution from oil and gas production. At the end of April, the Senate voted to repeal Trump Administration rules and reinstate some of the Obama-era methane safeguards. The original Obama rules only applied to newly permitted operations. Even if all Obama safeguards were restored, they would only reduce methane emissions 20% even if they were applied to existing operations as well. EPA Administrator Regan has announced that the Biden Administration would issue rules stronger than Obama’s. They are expected to be proposed in September 2021.

Statement from Lauren Pagel, Earthworks Policy Director:

“The Biden EPA recognizes public policy requires public input, a welcome change from the previous administration. The safeguards EPA proposes must value health and frontline communities over industry profit, and use the full force of the Clean Air Act to cut oil and gas methane pollution 65% by 2025.

“But even the strongest methane rules won’t avoid climate catastrophe. We must quickly transition to a clean energy economy.”