Trump Methane Emissions oil gas

Pumpjacks work in a field near Lovington, N.M., in a 2015 photo.

Over 70 members of Congress, including three from the Colorado delegation, have written to the Trump Administration asking to maintain an Obama-era rule to capture methane.

“Methane is one of the most potent greenhouse gases driving climate change — 84 times more powerful than carbon dioxide in the first two decades after its release,” the letter reads. “Nearly 30 percent of harmful methane emissions in the United States come from the oil and gas sector, a key reason for EPA’s previous actions to require oil and gas companies to curb this super-pollutant from the beginning of production.”

U.S. Reps. Diana DeGette, Joe Neguse, and Ed Perlmutter signed on to the request.

The Obama Administration developed the New Source Performance Standards for the Oil and Natural Gas Industry rule, which requires oil and gas operations to capture surface-level methane on new wells, known as fugitive emissions.

“Oil and natural gas operations are the second largest stationary source of [greenhouse gas] emissions in the United States...second only to fossil fuel electricity generation,” the rule states.

In August, Andrew Wheeler, the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, announced a reversal of the rule, citing rising natural gas production.

“Our regulations should not stifle this innovation and progress,” Wheeler said.

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