The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Seth D. Michaels, 202-331-5662,

Trump Administration Proposal to Gut Methane Rules Would Accelerate Climate Change

Statement by Rachel Cleetus, Union of Concerned Scientists


According to numerous media reports, today the Environmental Protection Agency will issue a new proposed rule that would loosen safeguards on methane, a powerful greenhouse gas. This proposal would allow increased methane emissions from oil and gas operations and weaken efforts to fight climate change, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS).

Below is a statement by Rachel Cleetus, policy director for the Climate and Energy Program at UCS.

"The administration's proposal is irresponsible and dangerous. Methane pollution is a major contributor to climate change, but the Trump EPA has willfully decided to allow higher levels of these heat-trapping emissions.

"There's no argument for this policy change that doesn't rely on ignoring or upending everything we know about methane and climate. At a time when scientific evidence of the grave harms of climate change is abundantly clear, this proposal adds to the long list of egregious actions that the Trump administration is taking to gut climate policies. Once more, this administration is demonstrating its willingness to put us at risk for the short-term benefit of a few powerful industry groups. This undercuts the opportunity to build a clean energy future that benefits public health and consumers' pocketbooks.

"The Trump administration is willing to throw science, common sense, and the public interest under the bus in order to pander to fossil fuel interests. Instead of implementing commonsense and cost-effective measures to curtail methane emissions, President Trump and Administrator Wheeler are taking us in the opposite direction, on a path to higher emissions and a more dangerous world."

The Union of Concerned Scientists is the leading science-based nonprofit working for a healthy environment and a safer world. UCS combines independent scientific research and citizen action to develop innovative, practical solutions and to secure responsible changes in government policy, corporate practices, and consumer choices.