June 29, 2021
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, President Joe Biden signed into law a bipartisan resolution of disapproval under the Congressional Review Act to reduce dangerous methane pollution. The resolution introduced by Rep. Scott Peters (CA-52), Rep. Diana DeGette (CO-01) and Rep. Conor Lamb (PA-17) will reinstate two key Obama-era rules that set stronger regulations on methane pollution emitted by the nation's oil and gas industry. It is one of the most significant actions Congress has ever taken to combat the climate crisis and is a victory for public health advocates and U.S. industry.
"Controlling methane will immediately help slow global warming, strengthen our economic competitiveness, and restore our international leadership on the climate crisis," said Rep. Peters following the resolution's enactment ceremony. "Today, the United States reinstated critical methane regulations that prove our nation is building back better following the disastrous environmental rollbacks imposed by the previous administration. Republicans and Democrats united behind this important action because climate change is real and requires real solutions."
Rep. Peters continued: "I want to thank my co-leads in this effort - Representatives DeGette and Lamb, as well as Senators Martin Heinrich, Angus King and Ed Markey. I'd also like to thank several Democratic leaders, including House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, and of course President Biden for recognizing the importance of this resolution and ensuring its enactment. There is more work left to do, but we should be proud to have taken this step forward today."
The production of oil and natural gas is the largest source of methane pollution in the United States. Yet, in September 2020, the Trump administration rescinded critical methane capture rules issued by the Environmental Protection Agency under the Obama administration. The reversal weakened, and in some cases eliminated, requirements that oil and natural gas companies limit methane from their operations.
Rep. Peters has been a staunch advocate for the resolution from start to finish.
In March, Reps. Peters, DeGette and Lamb introduced the resolution of disapproval to reinstate the 2012 and 2016 Oil and Natural Gas New Source Performance Standards put in place by the Obama administration. Climate scientists say such standards are indispensable to combat the climate crisis.
On June 10, Rep. Peters stressed the gravity of this policy when the resolution came before the House Energy and Commerce Committee for a vote. He highlighted that the bill is essential to tackling the climate crisis, boosting industrial competitiveness, and maintaining American leadership on energy innovation.
Rep. Peters was then selected on behalf of the Energy and Commerce Committee to testify before the House Rules Committee in support of the legislation on June 22.
Finally, on June 25, he once again championed the need for the resolution during legislative debate prior to the resolution's passage in the House of Representatives, with 12 House Republicans voting in support.
The resolution's companion legislation in the Senate, introduced by Sens. Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Angus King (I-ME) and Ed Markey (D-MA), was approved in April by a vote of 52-42, with 3 Senate Republicans voting in support.
In addition to garnering bipartisan support in Congress, the methane resolution is widely supported by the natural gas industry, including BP America, Cheniere Energy and Occidental Petroleum, because smart methane regulations are essential to their economic competitiveness.
?Rep. Peters has established a track record of championing pragmatic, ambitious climate policy. He led and co-led some of the most consequential climate bills enacted in the last decade, including the USEIT Act and the American Innovation and Manufacturing Leadership Act that became law through last year’s historic energy package. On Earth Day, Rep. Peters introduced the METHANE Act to further rein in methane emissions and put the United States on competitive footing with the rest of the world. His POWER ON Act, aimed at enhancing the development of clean energy and reducing costs for consumers, was featured during yesterday's Energy and Commerce hearing on electric transmission.