Fifteen senators are pressuring President Barack Obama to begin regulating methane emissions that come from the production of oil and gas, arguing that methane is a “key component” of curbing the emission of greenhouse gases and combating climate change.
“Ton for ton, methane causes at least 80 times more warming than carbon dioxide over a 20-year period,” wrote the 13 Democratic senators and two Independents, led by Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, in a letter addressed to President Obama on Friday. “Voluntary standards are not enough. Too many in the oil and gas sector have failed to adopt sound practices voluntarily, and the absence of uniform enforceable standards has allowed methane pollution to continue, wasting energy and threatening public health.”
The Obama administration issued a methane strategy back in March, which included undertaking new studies and implementing voluntary measures for oil and gas companies. The White House has previously touted the growing use of natural gas in the energy sector as a goof thing for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, as natural gas burns much cleaner than other fossil fuels.
Environmentalists, on the other hand, are concerned that the amount of methane, which is the primary component of natural gas, that leaks during both the extraction and transportation of the fuel could be incredibly damaging to the environment.
Read more about the story at The Washington Examiner.