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Tell Congress to restore our methane protections

Supporters Spoke up in this Action
Delivery to U.S. House of Representatives

Action Ended On

May 10, 2021

What Happens Next

Thank you to all who took action! Congress restored the methane standards in a bipartisan vote — acting on climate and protecting communities in the process. Thank you for helping push this across the finish line.

What was at Stake

In 2016, the Obama administration’s EPA finalized the first-ever nationwide requirements to reduce methane emissions from the oil and gas industry. Methane is 86 times more potent than carbon dioxide, and is responsible for 20% of the planet’s warming. The Trump administration rolled back this commonsense standard in 2020 despite the bipartisan support behind it. Tell Congress to reverse Trump's damage and restore our methane regulations.

We’ve been in this fight for the better part of the decade. We sued to get the Obama administration to create the methane protections in the first place and we sued the Trump administration to prevent their rollbacks — so you can be sure that we will never rest until methane standards are restored and strengthened by the Biden administration.

Strong methane standards are vital to combating the climate crisis and advancing environmental justice. Take action today and tell your member of Congress to pass a resolution reinstating the Obama-era standard.

Not only does methane pollution from the oil and gas industry jeopardize the continued habitability of our planet, it poisons the communities adjacent to its extraction. Methane is released alongside toxic pollutants such as benzene, formaldehyde, and ethylbenzene, which can cause debilitating health problems for millions of people.

The good news is that cutting methane pollution is a quick win in the fight against the climate crisis and for healthy communities. The Trump administration put polluters before people, and we have an obligation to restore and strengthen the protections we lost. We need you to take action and tell Congress to act on climate by reinstating methane standards.

Natural gas flare
Spencer Platt

Flared gas is burned off at Apache Corporations operations at the Deadwood gas plant in the Permian Basin on February 5, 2015 in Garden City, Texas.

Your Actions Matter

Your messages make a difference, even if we have leaders who don't want to listen. Here's why.

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You level the playing field.

Elected officials pay attention when they see that we are paying attention.

They may be hearing from industry lobbyists left and right, but hearing the stories of their constituents — that’s your power.

Our legislators serve at the pleasure of the people who gave them their job — you. When you contact your elected official, you’re putting a face and a name on an issue. Whether or not you voted for them, they work for you, for the duration of their term.

Make sure your elected officials know whose community and whose values they represent. (Find your local, state, and federal elected officials.)

Your action is with us in court.

If a federal agency finalizes a harmful action, the record of public comments provides a basis for bringing them into court.

Throughout each of the public comment periods we alert you to, Earthjustice’s attorneys are researching and writing in-depth, technical comments to submit — detailing how the regulation could and should be stronger to protect the environment, our communities, and our planet.

We need you to join us — your specific experiences, knowledge, and voice are crucial to add to the Administrative Record through the comment periods.

Lawsuits we file that challenge weak or harmful federal regulations rely on what was submitted during the comment period. The court can only look at documents that are in the Administrative Record — including the public comments — to decide if the agency did something improper.

Your actions aid our litigation. Taking action and submitting comments during a comment period is substantively important.

It’s the law.

Federal agencies must pause what they’re doing and ask for — and consider — your comment.

Many of us may have never heard of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), but laws like these require our government to ask the public to weigh in before agencies adopt or change regulations.

Regulations essentially describe how federal agencies will carry out laws — including decisions that could undermine science, or weaken safeguards on public health.

Public comments are collected at various points throughout the federal government’s rulemaking process, including when a regulation is proposed and finalized. (Learn more about the rulemaking process.) These comments become part of the official, legal public record — the “Administrative Record.”

When the public responds with a huge outpouring of support for environmental protections, these individual messages collectively undercut politicians' attempts to claim otherwise.

What this means is each of us can take a role in shaping the rules our government creates — and ensuring those rules are fair and effective.