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April 28, 2021

Earthjustice Applauds Lawmakers for Voting to Restore Methane Pollution Standards

The Senate passed a Congressional Review Act resolution to repeal a Trump-era rule limiting EPA’s ability to regulate methane pollution

Contacts

Siham Zniber, szniber@earthjustice.org

Washington, D.C.

Today, the Senate passed a Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution to rescind former President Trump’s rollback of the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Methane Pollution Standard. The CRA resolution was introduced by Senators Martin Heinrich (D-NM) and Angus King (I-ME). The resolution has also been introduced in the House by Representative Diana DeGette (D-CO).

The following is a statement from Jessica Ennis, Legislative Director for Climate and Energy:

“Methane pollution is a serious problem with wide-ranging ramifications for our environment, our climate, and the marginalized communities that live in the areas where methane and other pollutants are pumped into the air. Strong methane standards are absolutely vital to combating the climate crisis and advancing environmental justice. At last week’s climate summit, President Biden promised to significantly cut methane emissions, and today’s vote is an important first step. 

“We applaud Congressional leadership for stepping up to reinstate commonsense safeguards to reduce harmful air pollution from the oil and gas industry. We look forward to working with Congress and the Biden administration to restore and strengthen this important public health and environmental protection.”

Background:

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 a major contributor to the climate crisis. The Trump administration rolled back this commonsense standard in 2020. If passed by both chambers of Congress, the CRA resolution would largely reinstate the Obama-era standard. 

In his day one Executive Order, President Biden directed agencies to consider revising these critical standards. The Biden EPA is expected to announce a revised methane standard this fall. 

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