After carbon dioxide, methane is the largest contributor to global warming. The need for deep cuts in methane emissions is made clear in a 2018 report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. It warns that only with drastic cuts in methane emissions can we avoid a rise in global warming above 1.5 deg C, a cap needed to avoid catastrophic changes in the climate. Human-caused emissions of methane enter the atmosphere in several ways.
- Methane is leaked, burned off, or just vented into the air from operating oil and gas wells. In the Obama years, the EPA had established regulations to greatly reduce such emissions, but just before Pres. Trump left office, he canceled all these regulations. However, the Congressional Review Act enables Congress to reinstate the EPA regulations if it acts in time. The exact date of their decision is unsure, but it will likely be before the end of May.
- Methane is continually leaking from an EPA estimated 2.1 million abandoned “orphan” oil and gas wells. Many date from the 1800s. Many others are registered to companies that no longer exist or are insolvent. Pres. Biden’s Infrastructure Proposal contains $16 Billion for states to hire unemployed oil and gas workers to permanently cap these wells.
Co-sponsor and press for Resolutions to reinstate the EPA regulations to greatly reduce methane leaks. In the House it is H. J. Res. 34, and in the Senate, it is S. J. Res. 14. Please contact them as soon as you can, so they don’t miss this window of opportunity.
See that the $16 Billion in the President’s Infrastructure Proposal for states to hire unemployed oil and gas workers to permanently cap ‘orphaned’ and abandoned oil and gas wells remains in the Infrastructure Bills that are passed in the House and Senate.
Please also consider writing a letter-to-the-editor to your local newspaper on this important issue.