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For Immediate Release

Contact

Matt Casale, U.S. PIRG Environment Campaigns Director, 609-610-8002, mcasale@pirg.org 
Andrea McGimsey, Environment America Senior Director, Global Warming Solutions, 703-477-4722, amcgimsey@environmentamerica.org
Mark Morgenstein, Director of Media Relations, 678-427-1671, markm@publicinterestnetwork.org

Press Release

House Panel Takes Valuable Step Toward Reversing Catastrophic Methane Rule

This action aims to reinstate Obama-era emissions standards.
WASHINGTON -

The House Energy and Commerce Committee advanced a resolution on Thursday which would undo a Trump-era rollback of methane emission controls. The resolution was introduced by Reps. Diana DeGette (CO), Scott Peters (CA) and Conor Lamb of (PA). 
 
If the full House passes the resolution and President Joe Biden signs it, the Environmental Protection Agency would need to reinstate regulations governing the emission of methane, a highly potent greenhouse gas, at oil and gas production sites. The Trump administration weakened the pre-existing standards in August 2020 and allowed oil and gas companies to release methane at facilities across the country with little to no accountability. Methane, which is commonly released during the extraction of fossil fuels, is a highly dangerous greenhouse gas that warms the planet with 28 times the strength of carbon dioxide
 
U.S. PIRG and Environment America had called on President Biden to overturn the Trump administration’s methane standards in the "First Things to Fix" report, which outlined 20 environmental priorities the new president should focus on when beginning his time in office.
 
Experts from U.S. PIRG and Environment America issued the following statements: 

“We’re grateful to the House Energy and Commerce Committee for taking strong climate action today,” said Matt Casale, U.S. PIRG environment campaigns director. “Methane is an especially harmful greenhouse gas and ratcheting down methane emissions is a critical piece for solving the global warming puzzle. Holding oil and gas companies accountable for methane emissions would be a significant climate victory for all Americans. We hope to see this resolution pass the full Congress and head to President Biden for his signature quickly.”  
 
“This smart move by the Energy and Commerce Committee shows they understand that we need to cut planet-warming pollution as quickly as possible to protect the health and safety of all Americans,” said Andrea McGimsey, senior director of Global Warming Solutions for Environment America. “From the giant methane cloud last year over Florida to the ongoing release of this dangerous gas from the massive Permian Basin of Texas, it’s clear that we must get this problem under control. With this new direction, the Environmental Protection Agency can send a clear message to oil and gas executives: You no longer get a free pass to damage our environment and the health of your fellow Americans near your production sites. It’s time to clean up your business so we can act on climate.” 

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U.S. PIRG, the federation of state Public Interest Research Groups (PIRGs), stands up to powerful special interests on behalf of the American public, working to win concrete results for our health and our well-being. With a strong network of researchers, advocates, organizers and students in state capitols across the country, we take on the special interests on issues, such as product safety,political corruption, prescription drugs and voting rights,where these interests stand in the way of reform and progress.

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