Support Local Journalism. Donate to Cleveland Scene.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

New Federal Bill Targets Methane Gas Leaks

Posted By on Wed, May 15, 2019 at 3:10 PM

click to enlarge (TIM EVANSON/FLICKR)
  • (Tim Evanson/Flickr)
COLUMBUS, Ohio - New federal legislation could help Ohio in its efforts to reduce methane gas leaks from natural-gas facilities.

Methane is considered one of the most potent greenhouse gases, and nearly $2 billion worth of methane is lost each year at oil and gas well sites across the country. The Methane Waste Prevention Act of 2019, introduced Tuesday by Rep. Diana DeGette of Colorado, would direct the Environmental Protection Agency to keep 2016 methane rules in place for new and updated oil and gas facilities.

Isaac Brown, executive director of the Center for Methane Emission Solutions, said that would benefit Ohio, which already has gas-leak detection and repair requirements.



"The hodgepodge of rules across the country really creates a very difficult regulatory environment for states, and for oil and gas producers and industry," he said, "because it's hard for states to operate in a vacuum when you're talking about an industry that's national in scale."

The bill instructs the U.S. Interior Department to reinstate and update protections to reduce methane leaks, venting, and flaring of natural gas from public lands. It also would block an EPA proposal to roll back the 2016 methane standards, which Brown contended are working.

"In states where there are established rules," he said, "we are seeing both oil and gas production increasing while methane emissions are being cut dramatically."

Brown noted that Ohio's 2016 methane standards are widely supported by environmental, labor and public health groups, as well as many elected leaders.

"One of the things we're seeing in states like Ohio is, this is not a partisan issue," he said. "Governors on both sides of the aisle are recognizing that we need to do something about methane emissions, but that it's also important that methane is regulated in a manner that is cost-effective."

Ohio is part of the Utica and Marcellus shale region, which is expected to supply nearly half of all U.S. natural gas by 2040. More than a dozen methane-mitigation companies in the state produce and install leak-reduction technologies.

The bill's text is online at naturalresources.house.gov.

Tags: , , ,

We’re keeping you informed…
...and it’s what we love to do. From local politics and culture to national news that hits close to home, Scene Magazine has been keeping Cleveland informed for years.

It’s never been more important to support local news sources, especially as we all deal with the ramifications of the coronavirus pandemic. Almost everything Scene is about -- our stories, our events, our advertisers -- comes down to getting together. With events on hold, and no print distribution for the foreseeable future, every little bit helps.

A free press means accountability and a well-informed public, and we want to keep our unique and independent reporting available for many, many years to come.

If quality journalism is important to you, please consider a donation to Scene. Every reader contribution is valuable and so appreciated, and goes directly to support our coverage of critical issues and neighborhood culture. Thank you.

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Calendar

© 2020 Cleveland Scene: 737 Bolivar Rd., Suite 4100, Cleveland, OH 44115, (216) 241-7550
Logos and trademarks on this site are property of their respective owners.


Website powered by Foundation