As our community faces a pandemic, the federal administration is exacerbating another public crisis. In August, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency proposed eliminating federal regulation of methane, regulations which require regular monitoring for methane leaks and repairs.
In March, the EPA ceased oversight of industry emissions of any kind, citing the pandemic. The EPA will instead allow companies to regulate themselves for the indefinite future.
Ohio has a particular interest in the proposed methane-regulation rollback. Methane is the main gas emitted in natural gas extraction, and, according to IHS Markit, the Ohio Valley is expected to supply nearly half of the country’s natural gas by 2040. The Environmental Defense Fund found that the proposed rollbacks would lead to an additional 5 million metric tons of methane pollution, a contributor to climate change, each year.