Last week, the Environmental Protection Agency held a public listening to on its proposal to intestine key rules that scale back climate-damaging methane emissions, and shield communities from air pollution from oil and gasoline growth. Methane, an extraordinarily potent greenhouse gasoline accountable for 25% of present world warming, can also be the principle part of pure gasoline, which is an vital energy useful resource in Pennsylvania.
Pennsylvania is the second-largest pure gasoline producing state within the U.S. and may act now to guarantee its residents don’t lose key protections put in jeopardy by the federal authorities. Gov. Wolf just lately committed to be a part of the ranks of states working to restrict carbon air pollution. By becoming a member of the various different oil and gasoline producing states throughout the nation stepping up to lower methane air pollution from present oil and gasoline infrastructure, Pennsylvania has an opportunity to lead by shortly advancing their current rule proposal.
Pennsylvanians are already witnessing firsthand the impacts of climate change, from more frequent, severe flooding that threatens the state’s agricultural sector, to more powerful heat waves that put lives in danger. That’s why Gov. Wolf’s pledge to lower emissions 80% by 2050, and his dedication to curb power-sector carbon air pollution, are so vital. However, complete methane air pollution regulation is a key a part of ensuring Pennsylvania can meet Gov. Wolf’s targets.
Gov. Wolf has just lately dedicated to advance crucial guidelines to the Environmental Quality Board by the tip of 2019. This proposal to lower methane emissions from the huge quantity of present oil and gasoline infrastructure throughout the state is a essential step to meet his targets, and in addition to higher shield the over a million residents who reside close to oil and gasoline operations throughout the state.
Cutting methane emissions from oil and gasoline infrastructure is likely one of the most cost-effective methods to act on climate. The International Energy Agency estimates roughly half of worldwide methane emissions will be lower at no internet price, and states like Colorado have seen that sturdy methane guidelines can go hand-in-hand with a thriving energy financial system.
In 2018, Gov. Wolf and the Department of Environmental Protection finalized permits requiring methane controls at new and modified pure gasoline infrastructure, however new source-only controls do nothing to scale back most of Pennsylvania’s methane emissions, which come from present oil and gasoline infrastructure.
EDF estimates that Pennsylvania pure gasoline operators emit over 5 instances extra methane than they report to DEP — about 500,000 metric tons — which has a climate impression greater than all of the vehicles in Pennsylvania. Absent fast motion, that quantity may improve to 5 million tons by 2025. Because methane is the principle part of pure gasoline and a saleable product, these emissions additionally imply hundreds of thousands in misplaced income. Continued motion from Gov. Wolf will curb emissions and permit Pennsylvania to retain its rising methane mitigation industry, which brings well-paying jobs and financial opportunity to the state.
While EDF helps shifting Gov. Wolf’s proposed present supply regulation to the EQB, there are a number of essential adjustments that want to be thought-about:
- Removal of the brink for low-producing wells.
- Removal of the leak-detection-and-repair (LDAR) step-down provision.
- Addition of methane as a pollutant instantly regulated by the brand new guidelines.
Amid the rollback of the EPA’s federal methane requirements, Pennsylvania has the opportunity to present the nation what accountable, commonsense management seems to be like. Meaningful climate motion is one thing voters throughout the state have voiced support for, and the data are clear that complete methane guidelines will ship highly effective advantages to communities all through Pennsylvania.