Back in June 2021, and again in December 2021, we called on Earthjustice supporters to tell the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to tackle methane — a powerful greenhouse gas that is the second largest contributor to the climate crisis after carbon dioxide. The EPA responded to our roar by releasing an updated proposal that will cut methane emissions significantly through the end of the decade. Tell the EPA to strengthen its proposal to reduce the oil and gas industry’s methane pollution.
The updated plan is an encouraging sign from the Biden administration that it’s taking this problem seriously — methane emissions covered by the plan would plummet 87% by 2030 relative to 2005 levels. Paired with actions taken by Congress to establish a fee on methane pollution and roll back a disastrous Trump-era policy that let polluters off the hook for their methane emissions, there’s more hope for progress on methane than there has been in a long time.
Despite this progress, we need the EPA to be bolder. Methane is the second largest contributor to the climate crisis after carbon dioxide. On a pound-for-pound basis, methane traps 86 times more heat than carbon dioxide, making it far more potent and dangerous to our climate.
The good news is that methane doesn’t stay in the atmosphere as long as other greenhouse gases, so decisive action to cut methane emissions today can pay big dividends. Further cause for hope is the fact that we have the tools and technology to cut methane pollution from the oil and gas sector by as much as 65 percent below 2012 levels by 2025. With effective government action, we can hold the oil and gas industry accountable for the 16 million metric tons of methane it dumps into the atmosphere, and keep the planet from baking in doing so.
Not only does methane pollution from the oil and gas industry jeopardize the continued habitability of our planet, but its extraction poisons communities. Methane is released alongside toxic pollutants such as benzene, formaldehyde, and ethylbenzene, which can cause debilitating health problems for millions of people.
It's time to work together to cut methane pollution from the oil and gas industry. Join us in calling on the EPA to aggressively cut methane pollution.