WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.), top Democrat on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, released the following statement after EPA finalized its rule rolling back the methane standards for the oil and gas industry under the Clean Air Act’s New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) program, including ending requirements that protect people from undetected methane leaks. According to EPA, methane is the main component of natural gas and a potent driver of climate change and ground level ozone air pollution. Methane can be up to eighty times more powerful than carbon dioxide in terms of short term global warming potential.
“The planet is on fire, the American people are suffering and dying in the midst of a deadly respiratory pandemic, and this EPA is still pursuing actions that are bad for the climate, bad for our lungs and will lead to more sickness and more deaths.
“By rolling back the standards that reduce methane emissions and protect people from breathing in those dangerous emissions, this EPA is putting public health at risk and bringing us ever closer to the brink of irreversible climate change. It’s a stark departure from the widely accepted, science-based and commonsense view that we should protect people and our planet from the dangers of methane.
“Considering EPA’s own website contends that the oil and gas industries are the largest sources of methane, it’s clear this rollback is about boosting the bottom line for the oil and gas industries, not about protecting the American people. This rule gives the green light to oil and gas companies to waste our nation’s natural gas reserves and pollute our air to boost their bottom line. It’s the last thing the American people need from EPA right now, and only serves to take us backwards in the fight to save our planet.”