Sherman Announces Passage of Legislation to Curb Methane Emissions
Washington, D.C. -- Today, the House passed S.J.Res. 14, a joint resolution that will strengthen regulation of methane emissions.
“This is an important step but more needs to be done,” Congressman Sherman said of today’s vote. “The Aliso Canyon blowout demonstrated the need for strong regulation of natural gas storage facilities.”
Congressman Sherman has been an advocate for more robust regulation of gas facilities, and he received a personal commitment from President Obama in early 2016 that the federal government would act in the wake of the Aliso Canyon gas blowout.
In late 2016, the Obama administration issued new safety regulations specific to underground natural gas storage facilities. That same year, the Obama administration also issued regulations requiring oil and gas operations to reduce methane emissions released during the production, processing, transmission and storage of oil and natural gas by updating equipment and properly inspecting for and repairing leaks.
However, the Trump administration took numerous steps to overturn and weaken these important safety standards for the gas and oil industry, including weakening or eliminating rules designed to stop emissions of methane from gas and oil facilities as well as the separate, new safety regulations for underground natural gas storage facilities. The Trump administration’s rules even attempted to block the EPA from ever controlling methane pollution from existing oil and gas sources.
Today’s vote in the House will overturn the Trump administration’s actions and reinstate key Obama-era rules, reinstating stronger regulations on methane emissions from new and modified oil and gas facilities.
The 2015 blowout resulted in the largest natural gas leak in U.S. history. Efforts to cap the well lasted for several months. A toxic mix of chemicals was released into the area, including more than 100,000 tons of methane, severely impacting residents in the northern Los Angeles community of Porter Ranch and surrounding areas.
“We need stronger regulation to ensure that similar disasters never happen again,” Sherman added. “The Aliso Canyon facility continues to be an unacceptable risk, and in addition to stronger rules on industry, we need to immediately and permanently close the facility at Aliso Canyon.”