Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA) is accusing the Trump Administration of endangering American lives with its decision to deregulate methane emissions.
“Last month the planet experienced its hottest month in recorded history. The threat of climate change to human life and livelihoods has never been clearer, and yet the Trump Administration is acting to allow an increase in the dangerous emissions which cause it,” Beyer said. “It should be telling for everyone trying to make sense of this move that even fossil fuel companies think they are going too far. I worry that it may take years to undo the damage being done by the Trump Administration in pursuit of ever-larger corporate profits, and this is time that we simply do not have.”
The Trump Administration’s proposed rule change would reverse standards enacted under President Obama. Those regulations require oil and gas operators to control methane emissions at the wellhead and in their pipelines, storage facilities and processing plants.
“I don’t see that there’s going to be some big climate concern here,” said Anne Idsal, acting assistant administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Air and Radiation, according to a Wall Street Journal report. “The purpose of this rule is to get to the fundamental basis of whether [methane] should have been regulated in the first place.”
Methane, which accounts for about 10% of U.S. greenhouse-gas emissions, is about 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide in trapping the earth’s heat, according to estimates used by the EPA, the newspaper said.
The EPA estimates the proposed rule would save the oil and natural gas industry between $17 million and $19 million a year.