June 30, 2021
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Office of U.S. Senator Angus King (I-Maine) today released a statement from Senator King applauding President Biden’s signing of a resolution led by Senators King, Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), and Ed Markey (D-Mass.), restoring regulations on methane emissions resulting from oil and gas extraction. Now enacted into law, the resolution will 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. The resolution was passed in April by the Senate and advanced through the House last week.
“Today, we took an impactful, necessary step to address climate change and protect this planet for our children and grandchildren – one of the most significant things Congress has done in recent years to confront this threat,” said Senator King. “It is a plain and simple fact that the Earth is warming – and, if left unchecked, these temperature increases will threaten our health, our economy, and our national security. As we seek every possible solution to address this challenge, these commonsense methane regulations are among the easiest, most effective ways to reduce carbon emissions. Methane traps more than 80 times as much heat as carbon dioxide, which is why our resolution received bipartisan backing and drew support from both environmental groups and fossil fuel companies alike. By enacting this resolution into law, we struck an important blow in the fight against climate change – but the work is far from over. Let’s keep going, and find lasting, effective climate solutions to address this crisis.”
A member of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources and a founding member of the Climate Solutions Caucus, 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.