The White House just announced a significant plan to protect Americans from natural gas leaks — a plan that will cut methane emissions nearly in half in ten years.
Does anyone really have money to burn? Because that’s what is going on here.
Gas companies are burning money every time natural gas — primarily methane — leaks into our air. Gas leaks out of miles of ancient, crumbling cast-iron pipes under our city streets. Gas leaks during fracking. Gas leaks during distribution. It is purposely vented into the air. Precious fuel disappears.
The waste is bad enough. But the trouble doesn’t stop there. Methane is a powerful greenhouse gas—a big contributor to dangerous global warming. Pound for pound methane pollution is 84 times more potent than CO2. There are no national limits on methane pollution.
The good news is that there are simple ways to stop methane leaks — and they aren’t expensive. And those fixes will also cut smog-forming contaminants–toxics like benzene –t hat severely damage our lungs and our hearts.
You would think that oil and gas companies would have plugged methane leaks decades ago. Why would they literally burn up profits?
Here’s how bad it is: The industry loses enough methane every year to heat six million homes. NASA has just confirmed a methane leak from 40,000 gas wells in New Mexico that can be seen from space. America’s largest methane “hot spot” is the size of Delaware.
The oil and gas industry hasn’t stopped the leaks voluntarily. Because of a previous regulation requiring “green completion” of wells, among other things, some emissions have gone down. But emissions from the oil and gas sector are projected to rise more than 25% in ten years — unless we take additional steps to lower them.
That’s why America has the Clean Air Act. That’s what protects our children from polluters.
Polluters will fight tooth and nail to protect their right to pollute. We must stand strong to protect our children’s right to a stable climate.
Don’t let this historic plan go unnoticed: Please, join us in thanking Gina McCarthy for her strong leadership in protecting us from methane pollution. And tell her: this is just the beginning. More needs to be done.
Here’s to standing strong!