Sens. Heinrich, King and Markey Introduce Measure to Roll Back Trump Methane Rule

WASHINGTON – Senators Martin Heinrich of New Mexico, Angus King of Maine and Edward Markey of Massachusetts introduced a congressional resolution of disapproval today aiming to cancel a Trump administration rule allowing substantial increases of climate-harming methane pollution from oil and gas operations.

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

“With this measure Congress can quickly erase the Trump administration’s appalling rollback of EPA’s limits on climate-warming methane pollution from America’s oil and gas companies.  The former administration gave these huge polluters a free pass to keep leaking some 15 million of tons per year of this super-potent climate pollutant. 

“This measure will pave the way for EPA to protect the American people by swiftly setting stronger methane leakage protections--covering both new and existing oil and gas operations—as President Biden directed in his first-day executive order.” 


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.

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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