June 25, 2021
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Angus King (I-Maine), a member of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources and a founding member of the Climate Solutions Caucus, today lauded the House of Representatives’ passage of S.J. Res 14, a resolution to restore regulations of methane emissions released while drilling for oil and gas. S.J. Res 14 was passed in April by the Senate and led by Senators King, Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), and Ed Markey (D-Mass.). These moves reinstate EPA standards for methane emissions from the oil and gas industry and the regulation of air pollution from transmission and storage facilities and undo the Trump administration’s 2020 Methane Rescission Rule.
“I am grateful that my colleagues in the House have acted to address the extraordinary impact of methane emissions on our climate and our public health,” said Senator King. “Methane traps more than 80 times as much atmospheric heat as carbon dioxide, and has proven links to a number of serious health conditions. The challenge is severe, but fortunately the solution is simple. Commonsense regulations to ensure oil and gas companies contain and control methane that is released during their operations are proven ways to address climate change, and have drawn widespread support from environmental groups and fossil fuel companies alike. Our methane resolution is a critical step – now, let’s build on this momentum and advance bold climate solutions that will protect our planet for future generations.”
Senator King has consistently criticized efforts to weaken critical methane emissions regulations created during the Obama administration – most recently in the Columbia University Energy Exchange podcast. In response to the Trump Administration’s decision to roll back these protections, Senator King stated “I can’t think of a worse policy decision for the American environment and the global climate risk”. In the hours before the Senate’s vote on the resolution to restore the methane regulations, Senator King spoke on the Senate floor in support of the move. Senator King has pressed Interior Secretary Deb Haaland on the importance of taking action to limit methane releases on public lands, called for the Biden Administration to restore these regulations, and has also pushed for a comprehensive review of methane leaks from oil and gas developments and the related impact on energy prices, the environment, and public health.
The reinstated methane regulations are widely viewed as cost-effective measures that will make a major impact on climate change – in fact, the regulations have major support from both environmental organizations and oil and gas companies. In response to Senator King’s questioning during a hearing of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee earlier this year, Vicki Hollub, President and Chief Executive Officer of Occidental Petroleum expressed her company’s support of the restoration of Obama-era regulations to limit the release of methane emissions.