EPA Announces Standards for New Sources of Methane Pollution in Oil & Gas Industry

For Immediate Release

Contact: 

Kate Slusark Kiely, 212-727-4592 or kkiely@nrdc.org

EPA Announces Standards for New Sources of Methane Pollution in Oil & Gas Industry

Rules are an Important Start, Existing Sources Must Be Addressed Next

WASHINGTON - The Environmental Protection Agency today released final Clean Air Act standards for reducing methane pollution from new oil and gas production, processing and transmission equipment nationwide.

The following is a statement from Antonia Herzog, Deputy Director of the Climate & Clean Air Program at the Natural Resources Defense Council:

“Reducing rampant methane pollution from the oil and gas industry is critical to combating climate change in the U.S. Today’s action to limit emissions from newly created sources of this pollution is an important start. It cannot stop there. The vast majority of the problem lies in the oil and gas infrastructure that already exists across the country. EPA must follow through on the President’s commitment to address these sources next, and soon.”

BACKGROUND

These standards begin to address methane pollution from the oil and gas sector, the second largest industrial source of climate-changing pollution after power plants.

More comprehensive rules for existing oil and gas infrastructure nationwide will be necessary to meet the White House’s goal of cutting methane pollution from the oil and gas industry 40-45 percent by 2025.

The oil and gas sector is the largest U.S. industrial emitter of methane, which is the second-biggest driver of climate change after carbon dioxide.

Most of the industry’s methane pollution comes from leaks and intentional venting that can be identified and curbed with existing, low-cost technology and better maintenance practices. NRDC and others released a report in 2014 that shows how EPA can cut methane pollution in half, while dramatically reducing other harmful air pollution at the same time, by issuing federal standards for new and existing infrastructure nationwide.

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The Natural Resources Defense Council is a national, nonprofit organization of scientists, lawyers and environmental specialists dedicated to protecting public health and the environment. Founded in 1970, NRDC has 1.2 million members and online activists, served from offices in New York, Washington, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Beijing.

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