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December 03, 2023

Ranking Member Applauds Finalization of Biden-Harris Administration Methane Rule

(SAN JOSE, CA)— On Saturday, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalized a rule that aims to reduce methane emissions from new and existing oil and gas operations. The rule’s finalization comes as world leaders meet in Dubai for the COP 28 Climate Summit. The rule aims to sharply reduce methane and other harmful air pollutants from the oil and natural gas industry, including from hundreds of thousands of existing sources nationwide, promote the use of cutting-edge methane detection technologies, and deliver significant economic and public health benefits.  

"I applaud the Biden-Harris Administration for acting decisively to rein in methane emissions from the oil and gas sector,” said Ranking Member Zoe Lofgren (D-CA). “The EPA's final rule reflects the scientific consensus that oil and gas operations leak far more methane into the atmosphere than previously understood, and it effectively targets the sources of those emissions. By harnessing innovative methane detection and quantification technologies, EPA has created a framework that will allow oil and gas companies to achieve dramatic reductions in operational methane emissions in a cost-effective manner. With this action, EPA has met the moment and taken a seminal step to confront the climate crisis."

In the 118th Congress House Science, Space, and Technology Committee-Democrats were at the forefront of action to address methane emissions.

Last Congress, Committee Democratic Staff released a staff report titled, Seeing CH4 Clearly: Science-Based Approaches to Methane Monitoring in the Oil and Gas Sector.

The report has three key findings:

1.     Oil and gas companies are failing to address super-emitting leaks.

2.     Oil and gas companies are failing to use quantification data to mitigate methane leak emissions.

3.     Oil and gas companies are deploying innovative LDAR technologies in a limited and inconsistent manner.

The Committee’s investigation into methane leak and detection programs began early in 2021. In December 2021, then Chairwoman Johnson sent letters to ten operators in the Permian Basin requesting information and documents on companies’ LDAR programs and methane emissions data. All of the operators responded to the Chairwoman’s request.