August 18, 2015

Whitehouse Applauds EPA’s Methane Rule to Reduce Emissions

Washington, DC – Today, U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse released a statement applauding the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed plan to decrease methane and VOC emissions from the gas and oil industry.  The plan would also require reductions in these gases from hydraulically fractured and refractured oil wells. The plan would use low-cost safeguards to reduce air pollution that harms public health and fuels climate change, and would yield net climate benefits up to $150 million in 2025. 

“This sensible, cost-effective step will help limit harmful methane pollution – an extremely potent greenhouse gas that contributes to the ozone that triggers ‘bad air days’ in Rhode Island and other states,” said Whitehouse. “EPA’s proposed rule will reduce air pollution, protect public health and help reduce climate change.  As we replace coal with natural gas, it’s important to reduce methane leakage.  Industry has been dragging its feet in implementing solutions, so EPA is stepping in with sensible requirements.”

Last year Senator Whitehouse led a letter with 14 other Senators to urge the Obama Administration to “ensure that EPA exercises its authority expeditiously to control methane pollution and its harmful effects.”   Additional details about EPA’s proposed plan are available here.  This is a component of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan, which set a goal of reducing methane emissions from these sectors by 40 to 45 percent from 2012 levels by 2025.   


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