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Press Release

If Congress Won’t Stand Up to Polluters, President Biden Must.

WASHINGTON -

President Joe Biden and his administration have said from Day 1 that they plan to use every tool in the toolbox to tackle the climate crisis. The president has made methane–a powerful greenhouse gas that is 86 times more potent than carbon dioxide-- a key part of that strategy. His administration (the US EPA) is set to propose new rules for methane pollution from oil & gas production – the nation’s number one industrial methane polluter–later this month.

Another part of that effort includes working with Congress to introduce a multi trillion dollar reconciliation bill, called the Build Back Better Act, which may or may not include a fee on methane from oil and gas production, transport and storage. The fee as originally proposed will help cut methane emissions in two ways: it will incentivize companies not to release it in the first place, and it will require the EPA to issue new rules to require accurate reporting and determination of the amount of methane companies release. Currently, companies loosely estimate their emissions -- which is why peer-reviewed studies actually measuring emissions suggest that oil and gas methane pollution is twice what’s reported.

Statement from Lauren Pagel, Earthworks policy director:

“The methane fee is a common sense provision that would deter methane pollution immediately by requiring the oil and gas industry to walk their talk. The fee only kicks in when pollution exceeds targets set by the oil and gas industry themselves.

If Congress isn’t going to rein in oil and gas climate pollution, President Biden must use the full power of his office to move us back from the brink of climate catastrophe. That means directing his EPA to introduce strong methane rules and declaring a climate emergency.”

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Earthworks is a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting communities and the environment from the adverse impacts of mineral and energy development while promoting sustainable solutions.

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