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Anti-Clean Air Attorneys General Look to Block Methane Safeguards

Lawsuit Seeks to Allow Oil and Gas Operations and Infrastructure to Emit Methane Pollution

WASHINGTON - Last week, Texas and North Dakota filed lawsuits to block the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) recently finalized methane standards for the oil and gas sector. These common-sense safeguards would protect communities from the dangers of methane pollution emitted from new and modified oil and gas operations and infrastructure.

The standards, finalized on May 12th, are the first-ever to protect against methane pollution, a greenhouse gas 87-times more potent than carbon dioxide in the near term. Earlier this year, EPA released its annual Greenhouse Gas Inventory report, which confirmed not only that the oil and gas industry is the leading emitter of methane pollution in the United State, but that sector-wide methane emissions are considerably higher than EPA previously estimated.

In response, Sierra Club Director of Beyond Dirty Fuels campaign Lena Moffitt released the following statement:

“The methane safeguards reflect EPA’s duty to protect our communities from dangerous pollution and are consistent with decades of action taken by the agency. Any lawsuit attempting to block them is an attack on clean air and a stable climate.

“Communities around the country continue to suffer from pollution from the oil and gas industry, yet the attorneys general of Texas and North Dakota aim to block these common-sense standards rather than protect their own citizens -- ignoring both the well-being of their own residents, as well as the strong desire of Americans across the country to see these safeguards kept in place.

“The Sierra Club is confident that these standards will be upheld in the courts.”


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The Sierra Club is the oldest and largest grassroots environmental organization in the United States. It was founded on May 28, 1892 in San Francisco, California by the well-known conservationist and preservationist John Muir, who became its first president. The Sierra Club has hundreds of thousands of members in chapters located throughout the US, and is affiliated with Sierra Club Canada.

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