Investors Call on EPA to Uphold Responsible Methane Regulations


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

Denver, Colorado—Nov. 14, 2018—Shareholder advocacy group As You Sow testified Wednesday at the only public hearing of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on its proposed rollback of the New Source Performance Standards regarding methane emissions from the oil and gas sector. The administration’s proposal would severely weaken leak detection and repair requirements and represents a first step in a reported plan to eliminate the regulation of methane emissions from oil and gas operations.

Methane is a potent greenhouse gas with a global warming potential significantly higher than carbon dioxide. While industry giants like ExxonMobil and Chevron have made commitments to undertake common-sense methane controls, strong regulations are vital to ensuring the entire industry is adopting cost efficient measures to reduce methane emissions and operate under best practices.

Lila Holzman, energy program manager of As You Sow, raised concerns on behalf of oil and gas shareholders that the proposed rollback jeopardizes natural gas’ reputation as a clean fuel and calls into question the role gas can play in a low-carbon future. In her public testimony, Holzman stated:

“Speaking on behalf of long-term investors with a financial interest in the success of the U.S. oil and gas industry, we reject this proposal by the EPA. Methane emissions pose a serious material risk to investors in the oil and gas industry, and comprehensive and common-sense regulations are needed to mitigate that industry-wide risk.”

She further emphasized the role companies that have signed onto voluntary initiatives like the Methane Guiding Principles should play in this discussion:

“[s]o far, [BP, Chevron, ExxonMobil, and Shell] and other forward-looking companies have not spoken up in support of [existing] rules, nor have they asked their trade associations like the American Petroleum Institute to stop supporting these senseless rollbacks. Investors find this lack of true transparency concerning and would like to see companies demonstrate fulfillment of their commitments to methane advocacy.”

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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. See our resolutions here.