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Public Citizen Tells EPA That Reversing Obama-Era Methane Rule Is Dangerous

Statement of Adrian Shelley, Director, Public Citizen’s Texas Office

Note: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is taking testimony today in Dallas on the Trump administration’s proposed rollback of a methane rule for the oil and gas industry. This would scuttle years of carefully negotiated work by the Obama administration and reverse a rule requiring oil and gas operators to install technology that can detect and repair leaks of methane – one of the worst heat-trapping gases – from their production equipment. Public Citizen’s Texas office joined other public health and environmental groups from across the country at today’s hearing, which was the only one scheduled to take public comment on the EPA’s proposal to reverse the rule.

The Obama-era methane rule is the next casualty of Trump’s deregulatory agenda – just the latest attempt to place corporate profits over public health and safety. Rolling back this rule will prevent the U.S. from meeting our climate commitments. It also will lead to harmful air pollution in large parts of Texas and wanton waste due to the reckless actions of the fossil fuel extraction industry – waste that could reach $2 billion a year nationally in escaped methane. Harming public health, wasting resources and worsening climate change seem to be priorities at Trump’s EPA. Furthermore, many major oil and gas producers – including ExxonMobil, BP and Shell – oppose this rule rollback. Most large energy companies already have commitments to reduce emissions of climate pollutants. In reality, this is about an agenda of climate denialism.

Public Citizen is a national, nonprofit consumer advocacy organization based in Washington, D.C., with an office in Austin, Texas.