Today NRDC is launching a significant digital ad buy in DC following EPA's release last week of standards to reduce methane pollution from new sources within the oil and gas industry. The ads thank President Obama and Administrator McCarthy for taking this important first step to curb the industry's rampant methane pollution problem, and call for them to tackle pollution from existing industry sources around the country next.
Methane from the oil and gas industry is the second largest industrial contributor to climate change in the U.S. Right now, the oil and gas industry is recklessly leaking millions of tons of methane pollution and toxic chemicals into the air that harm our health and speed up climate change. These new source standards are the first-ever national safeguards on methane pollution from the oil and gas industry and are projected to reduce more than a half million short tons of methane pollution—the equivalent of 11 coal-fired power plants. That reduction in pollution will save Americans $170 million in net climate benefits. To learn more about the final standards see my colleague Meleah Geertsma's blog.
Unfortunately, the vast majority of dangerous methane pollution from the oil and gas industry—along with other and toxic air pollution—is already leaking from existing sources in the oil and gas industry, which are not impacted by this week's ruling. And it was recently announced that those leaks are 34% worse than previously reported. That pollution represents a significant threat to our air, climate change and public health.
Fortunately, EPA committed in the final rule to begin the process of reaching the rest of the sector, announcing that it is undertaking an information collection request for the older equipment that is causing and will continue to cause the bulk of the methane problem. Safeguards are urgently needed to protect the public from existing sources of methane pollution. We are committed to working with EPA to follow through on their commitment as quickly as possible.
Here's what the ads, which started running today, look like:
You can thank President Obama and Administrator McCarthy, and urge them to address the rest of the methane problem, by sending them a quick note.