Photo of an oil refinery, with pipes and metal infrastructure.
Oil infrastructure Oil Refinery in the United States. © Mark Godfrey/TNC

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The Nature Conservancy Responds to the Passage of the Joint Resolution Reinstating Commonsense Methane Standards

Today the U.S. House of Representatives passed S.J. Res. 14, a Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution that would restore basic pollution protections by reversing steps EPA took in 2020 to eliminate methane emissions standards for the oil and gas industry.  Methane is a serious greenhouse gas pollutant, one that contributes significantly to climate change, especially in the near term.

The resolution now proceeds to U.S. President Joe Biden’s desk for signature.

“The Nature Conservancy applauds the Congress for taking the necessary steps to rescind this rule,” said Lynn Scarlett, Chief External Affairs Officer for The Nature Conservancy. “Methane is an extremely damaging pollutant, and the same leaks that lead to natural gas waste also release toxic and smog-forming pollutants. We must have clear, science-based methane regulations to reach our climate goals and to protect frontline communities from adverse health impacts. The 2020 rule left us with a lack of federal standards and a confusing legal landscape.”

“The Nature Conservancy applauds the Congress for taking the necessary steps to rescind this rule

Chief External Affairs Officer for The Nature Conservancy

Methane traps over 80 times more heat than carbon dioxide over the first 20 years after it reaches the atmosphere, and roughly one-third of methane emissions come from the oil and gas industry.

“Plugging methane leaks and reducing venting and flaring are straightforward steps for curbing a potent climate pollutant over the next decade, when it matters most,” added Scarlett. “ We look forward to working with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to promote methane regulations that reduce health risks and emissions that cause global warming.”

The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world's toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. We are tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters and oceans at an unprecedented scale, providing food and water sustainably and helping make cities more sustainable. Working in 72 countries and territories: 38 by direct conservation impact and 34 through partners, we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit www.nature.org or follow @nature_press on Twitter.