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Trump Administration Continues Assault on Climate, Americans’ Health With Obama-Era Methane Rule Rollback

Statement of Adrian Shelley, Director, Public Citizen’s Texas Office

WASHINGTON - Note: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today is expected to finalize a rule that would increase limits on the amount of climate-warming methane that oil and gas corporations release into the atmosphere. The rule eliminates a 2016 requirement that these corporations monitor and limit methane leaks from wells, compressor stations and other operations. Methane gases warm the climate, damage the environment and are incredibly harmful to humans. The burning and venting of natural gas reached an all-time high last year, in large part because of a drilling boom in the Permian Basin of Texas and New Mexico. Public Citizen has testified against this ill-advised and reckless rollback.

Allowing dirty energy corporations to endanger Americans’ health and cause untold damage to the environment is just the latest effort by the Trump administration to prop up a failing industry.

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This damaging new rule won’t save fossil fuel corporations, it won’t bring the U.S. closer to energy independence, and it won’t protect people from dangerous air pollution. It hurts everyone.

In Texas alone, drillers waste 1.4 million tonnes of methane gas each year – enough to supply every home in Dallas and Houston combined. Natural gas companies don’t want to waste natural gas, and they supported the Obama-era rule and were planning accordingly. Trump’s backward-looking policy deprives industry of what it craves most: regulatory certainty. It only moves the goalposts for a struggling industry.

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Public Citizen is a national, nonprofit consumer advocacy organization founded in 1971 to represent consumer interests in Congress, the executive branch and the courts.

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