Methane rules a step forward, but short of what’s needed

Media Contacts
Rachel Richardson

Environment America

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today the Obama administration issued final rules controlling new oil and gas emissions of methane – the greenhouse gas many times more potent than carbon dioxide. Drilling and fracking operations are the single largest source of the pollutant, which accounts for a quarter of the country’s greenhouse gas pollution.
The final rule limits methane leaks from new and modified facilities only. Last month, methane emissions from existing oil and gas facilities were found to be 34 percent higher than previously thought, while an Environment America study found existing fracking wells created at least as much global warming pollution as 22 power plants in a single year. 
Rachel Richardson, director of Environment America’s Stop Drilling program, issued the following statement:
“To avoid the worst impacts of climate change, we must make deep cuts in all global warming pollutants, including methane. Today’s rule is a step forward, but it falls short of what’s needed to avert climate disaster. In the near term, we need controls on existing fracking and drilling operations. In the long term, we need to phase out our use of dirty fuels altogether and transition to 100 percent clean, renewable energy.”