Congress Clears Path to Curb Rampant Climate-damaging Methane Pollution from Oil & Gas Operations

WASHINGTON  – With House action today, Congress has approved legislation to revoke an ill-conceived Trump administration rule allowing polluters to release millions of tons of harmful methane pollution from oil and gas operations into the air. The Biden administration is expected to propose stricter standards for methane pollution in September to protect public health and the climate.

The following is a statement from David Doniger, senior strategic director in the Climate & Clean Energy program at NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council):

“Congress has knocked out an egregious Trump era rule that let big polluters keep leaking some 15 million tons of super-potent methane into the air, year after year. This was dangerous for everyone, and especially for communities on the frontlines of climate pollution.

“Now the Biden administration must advance stronger protections, and ASAP, to rein in the unbridled leakage of methane from new and existing oil and gas operations.”


Methane pollution is the second-largest contributor to climate change after carbon pollution. Methane emissions from oil and gas operations pack 86 times the climate-warming wallop of carbon dioxide over 20 years—equivalent to more than 1.3 billion metric tons of CO2, the annual emissions of 280 million cars.

Last fall, NRDC and partners sued the Trump Environmental Protection Agency seeking to block its rollback of a 2016 standard limiting methane pollution leaking from new sources in the oil and gas industry. The Trump administration move gave the industry free rein to pollute and surrendered on climate action.

On January 20, President Biden signed an executive order to reconsider the Trump methane rule applying to methane emissions in the oil and gas sector for new and modified sources.

The Senate passed the same legislation overturning the Trump administration’s methane repeal on April 28. Now the measure goes to President Biden, who is sure to sign it.

Please see a blog by David Doniger for more:

NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council) is an international nonprofit environmental organization with more than 3 million members and online activists. Since 1970, our lawyers, scientists, and other environmental specialists have worked to protect the world's natural resources, public health, and the environment. NRDC has offices in New York City, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Bozeman, MT, and Beijing. Visit us at and follow us on Twitter @NRDC.

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