Trump Administration’s Plan to Roll Back Methane Rules ‘Demonstrates Profound Ignorance of Climate Change’

This Proposal is the third major Trump administration effort this year to roll back federal efforts to address climate change


MEDIA CONTACT: Stefanie Spear, [email protected], 216-387-1609

Washington, DC—Sept. 12, 2018—The Trump administration plan to weaken existing methane regulations, easing requirements for the oil and gas industry. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s proposal would reduce the frequency of monitoring methane emissions from gas and oil wells, increasing the risk of methane releases.

Danielle Fugere, president of As You Sow, made the following statement:

“The Trump administration’s proposal to drastically reduce monitoring requirements on oil & gas companies demonstrates a profound ignorance of climate change and the state of methane monitoring technology today.

“The technology of leak detection—spurred by current EPA methane monitoring rules—is moving forward by leaps and bounds. Drones, continuous monitoring systems, aerial monitoring, and more, make it feasible and cost effective to detect methane leaks in equipment. Early detection is critical in preventing methane, one of the most powerful greenhouse gases, from being dumped into the air. Equally important, monitoring and fixing leaks quickly retains more product in pipelines to be sold for energy.

“A fundamental tenet of business is that what is not monitored is not measured; and what is not measured is not addressed. Going back to the dark ages on methane monitoring serves nobody’s interests. This is a failed policy that will harm the climate, our citizens, and the very companies it purports to benefit.”

Lila Holzman, energy program manager of As You Sow, made the following statement:

“Industry has largely acknowledged the benefits of controlling methane leakage, and so for this administration to roll back common sense regulations is irrational and particularly counterproductive during a week when many industry executives have come together in San Francisco to productively address such issues at the Global Climate Action Summit.

“Investor pressure, with strong votes on methane-related resolutions, and economic sense are just two of the factors driving industry to improve methane management in recent years. Exxon and Chevron have both committed to the international methane reduction Guiding Principles. Given that one of the principles is to ‘advocate sound policy and regulations on methane emissions,’ the time is now to push forward with progress and defend against such a backwards step.”

Four shareholder resolutions were recently filed by As You Sow regarding methane emissions: Chevron, Dominion, DTE Energy and Exelon.

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As You Sow is a nonprofit organization that promotes environmental and social corporate responsibility through shareholder advocacy, coalition building and innovative legal strategies.