Washington—Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today released the following statement on Senate passage of a Joint Resolution of Disapproval that will reinstate critical regulations designed to limit methane emissions from oil and gas fields:
“Last summer, the Trump administration finalized a midnight rule that weakened and in some cases altogether eliminated requirements that oil and natural gas companies limit methane and volatile organic compound emissions from their operations.
This action was taken despite methane’s proven harmful impacts on air quality, health and climate change.
Methane leaks from oil and gas wells are often accompanied by leaks of harmful carcinogens like benzene, resulting in health effects for the most vulnerable, including children and seniors.
My home state of California is still dealing with the fallout of the Aliso Canyon gas leak – the worst gas leak in U.S. history – during which more than 100,000 metric tons of methane was emitted into the air. Many nearby residents reported having headaches, bloody noses, nausea and rashes.
Methane also has more than 80 times the global warming potential of carbon dioxide and accounts for ten percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. According to one study, the Trump administration action will result in methane leaks equivalent to up to 592 million metric tons of carbon dioxide. This will have irreversible effects on our climate.
In California, we are already experiencing the destructive effects of climate change. California has seen record-breaking and devastating droughts, floods and wildfires. These disasters cannot be separated from global warming and the emissions of greenhouse gasses that cause it.
I am glad to see Congress taking action to reinstate necessary regulations on methane emissions, and I look forward to taking additional action, along with my congressional colleagues, to combat climate change and ensure clean air for all Americans.”