REMOTE — Western Leaders Network, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization of 450 local and tribal elected officials across the Interior West, today urged western U.S. Representatives to pass House Joint Resolution 34. If passed, this legislation will reinstate commonsense safeguards that cut methane waste from oil and gas operations.
The Senate passed a companion resolution in a historic bipartisan vote in April. The U.S. House is expected to take up HJR 34 on Thursday, June 24.
“WLN urges U.S Representatives from the Interior West states to support HJR 34 which will allow the EPA to enact common sense regulations to reduce methane pollution,” said Western Leaders Network Executive Director Gwen Lachelt. “Methane is a powerful greenhouse gas that contributes to the climate change impacts we’re seeing across the West this summer with extreme heat and wildfires.”
Methane pollution is largely attributable to the oil and gas industry, and passage of HJR 34 will allow the EPA to move forward with adopting strong standards that protect public health and help achieve national climate goals.
Prior to 2020, the industry was required under Obama-era regulations to update its equipment and conduct periodic inspections for leaks and malfunctions to reduce unnecessary pollution. But the Trump Administration, in its final days, directed the EPA to remove federal air pollution limits from oil and gas transmission and storage facilities. The move, by the agency’s own estimates, would increase methane emissions by 850,000 tons by 2030.
There is bipartisan support for the reduction of industry pollution, and that doing so will benefit oil and gas producing regions throughout the Interior West by helping prevent devastating climate impacts, protecting public health and environment, creating good-paying jobs, and bringing royalty revenue to western communities to help pay for public services, schools and infrastructure.
“The House’s passage of this resolution would eliminate loopholes for the oil and gas industry, restore EPA pollution protections, and allow the agency to pursue stronger standards to regulate methane emissions,” Lachelt said.