Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Chris Murphy (D-CT), along with U.S. Representatives Scott Peters (CA-52) and Matt Gaetz (FL-1), on Friday wrote in strong opposition to the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposal to modify the New Source Performance Standards (NSPS), an Obama administration regulation to limit methane emissions from new, reconstructed, and modified sources in the oil and gas sector. Oil and natural gas operations are significant emitters of methane, a greenhouse gas whose effect on climate change is up to thirty-four times greater than that of carbon dioxide. In their letter, the members warned that this proposal would harm the environment by astronomically increasing the amount of methane emissions and urged the administration to rescind the proposed rule.
In July, Senators Collins and Murphy introduced the Super Pollutants Act of 2019, a bipartisan bill to reduce emissions of short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs)—pollutants that have a shorter atmospheric lifetime but warm the planet significantly faster than carbon dioxide. Representatives Peters and Gaetz introduced companion legislation in the House of Representatives. The legislation would codify the existing NSPS into law.
“[T]his proposed rule would rescind the methane requirements of the NSPS applicable to all oil and natural gas sources, estimated by the EPA to increase emissions by 370,000 short tons of methane from 2019 to 2025, equal to the emissions of 1.8 million additional passenger vehicles per year,” the members wrote.
The members concluded, “Reducing methane emissions is the low-hanging fruit to slow climate change. The oil and gas sector is already investing, and eager to continue investing, in leak and repair technology to reduce emissions.”
The full text of the letter can be viewed here.