Photo of air pollution coming out of a smokestack.
Air emissions Methane is a powerful driver of climate change. © Wikimedia Commons

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U.S. Senate Approves Resolution to Restore Important Regulations on Methane

Reversing rollback will bring back restrictions on a potent greenhouse gas and bring clarity to regulatory process

The Nature Conservancy applauded the U.S. Senate for its bipartisan support today of a resolution that will restore standards to limit methane pollution that were eliminated in the waning months of the previous presidential administration.

S.J. Res.14 rescinds an EPA rule from September 2020 that effectively eliminated all federal limits to methane pollution from the oil and gas sector and created legal confusion. Representatives of the oil and gas industry along with health and environmental groups support federal standards directly regulating methane emissions.

“Methane is a powerful driver of climate change, and we need sensible safeguards to prevent methane from leaking into the atmosphere,” said Jason Albritton, Director of North American Climate and Energy Policy at The Nature Conservancy. “There is broad and diverse support for methane standards and clear benefits to reducing methane emissions. We urge the House of Representatives to act similarly to restore limits on this climate pollutant.”

Methane, the primary ingredient of natural gas, traps over 80 times more heat than carbon dioxide over the first 20 years after it reaches the atmosphere.

“Reducing unnecessary methane emissions is a significant near-term opportunity and a crucial step to putting the U.S. on a pathway to net-zero emissions over the next two decades,” added Albritton. ”Restoring previous pollution protections will pave the way for the EPA to move forward with a normal, efficient regulatory process and get reasonable, cost-effective methane regulations back on track.”

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 75 countries and territories: 37 by direct conservation impact and 38 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.