Methane is a powerful pollutant, yet oil and gas facilities release billions of cubic feet of this greenhouse gas into the atmosphere every year. We need Congress to maintain common-sense regulations to curb this waste and its cost to taxpayers.

Methane is the primary component of natural gas and can trap 84 times as much heat as carbon dioxide over a 20-year period. Yet, Congress could soon vote to eliminate requirements to control methane waste from oil and gas facilities on public lands. If the measure becomes law, massive amounts of methane will go to waste, speeding climate change, harming national park air quality and costing American taxpayers millions of dollars per year.

A Powerful Greenhouse Gas

Methane is a powerful greenhouse gas that can have a devastating impact on the climate. Researchers estimate that a quarter of the manmade climate change we’re currently experiencing is a result of methane emissions.

Threat to Parks

Climate change is one of the biggest threats facing our national parks. The glaciers in Glacier National Park are rapidly receding. Sea-level rise threatens hundreds of beloved coastal parks, including Everglades and Biscayne national parks, and Cape Hatteras, Padre Island and Point Reyes national seashores. Increasingly strong storms threaten unique landscapes and historic structures at parks across the country. We must work to reduce greenhouse gas emissions if we hope to minimize the impacts of climate change on national parks.

Threat to Taxpayers

Allowing methane to leak or burn off into the atmosphere causes wasted energy and wasted revenue. Oil and gas companies operating on federal and tribal lands are wasting more than $330 million worth of natural gas nationwide each year through leaks and wasteful practices known as venting and flaring.

Working Toward a Solution

Both the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) recently finalized rules that would curb methane emissions from the oil and gas sector, the largest industrial methane polluter. The EPA rules update technical standards to reduce leaks from new and modified sources, and the BLM rules work to limit the damaging and expensive waste of methane from venting and flaring on public lands. Both the EPA and the BLM methane rules are under threat of repeal from Congress. If these rules are overturned, years of progress on sensible, workable solutions for methane emissions would be lost, and national parks would face an increased threat from climate change.

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