Press Release Aug 18, 2015

Methane Rule Means Important Protections for National Parks

Statement by Stephanie Kodish, NPCA Clean Air Program

WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency proposed the first-ever federal regulations to curb methane emissions from oil and gas producers. The proposed rule aims to cut methane emissions from the oil and gas industry, the single largest emitter of methane in the United States, by 20 to 30 percent from 2012 levels. These reductions are expected to achieve half of the Obama Administration’s goal of slashing methane by 40 to 45 percent by 2025.

Methane is a greenhouse gas 80 times as potent as carbon dioxide over a 20-year period, and is often leaked during oil and gas extraction, degrading air quality while driving climate change. 

Methane is also vented by some operations, which can also harm national parks. Studies show that up to 40% of methane on the Bakken Formation in North Dakota is vented, an act that produces no royalties for the American public. In 2014, National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) documented examples of venting and flaring on the Bakken Formation near Theodore Roosevelt National Park

Below is a statement by Stephanie Kodish, head of NPCA’s Clean Air Program:

“Methane pollution is bad for people, it’s bad for parks, and it’s bad for our planet. Today’s announcement to rein in dangerous methane will benefit national parks at the local and global level. Many of the oil and natural gas producers that generate methane sit on the doorsteps of our most iconic national parks, threatening the health of visitors and inflicting damage on parks’ ecosystems. 

“These new standards will help protect national parks and communities near oil and gas facilities while limiting methane’s driving effect on climate change and help shield our parks from additional climate impacts. This new rule means less methane released by oil and gas producers and will ensure a fairer return to the American public for their resources.”

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About National Parks Conservation Association
Since 1919, the nonpartisan National Parks Conservation Association has been the leading voice in safeguarding our national parks. NPCA and its more than one million supporters work together to protect and preserve our nation’s natural, historical, and cultural heritage for future generations. For more information, visit www.npca.org.