The Obama Administration today announced a process for establishing first time controls on methane emissions from oil and gas production. Methane, which escapes into the atmosphere during drilling and fracking operations and in distribution, is a climate pollutant 86 times more potent than carbon dioxide over a 20-year timeframe.
In response, Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune issued the following statement:
”Reducing methane in the atmosphere is necessary to address the unchecked climate pollution caused by the dramatic growth of oil and gas production in the United States. This expansion is driven by dangerous techniques, including fracking, which the Sierra Club opposes because they pollute our air and water and hold us back from clean energy prosperity. We cannot afford to wait: regulating methane directly is a critical step, but EPA and BLM must act quickly to reduce methane emissions from all new and existing sources of methane pollution in the oil and gas sector, including the transmission and distribution of natural gas.
“Controlling methane, however, is not an end in itself and it will not make fracked oil and gas climate friendly. Continued reliance on dirty fossil fuels is a dangerous course for our communities and our climate. Numerous scientific articles now point to the need to keep more than two-thirds of our fossil fuels in the ground in order to avoid climate chaos. We must move swiftly to truly clean energy like wind, solar, and energy efficiency while establishing policies that keep fossil fuels in the ground.”