Federal rules target the costly waste of methane

Oil and gas companies throw away $330 million of gas belonging to the public yearly

Natural gas flares near a community in Colorado. Federal rules aim to lower risks of natural gas development.

Photo by WildEarth Guardians

The U.S. loses more than $1.5 billion worth of natural gas every year.

That’s through leaks and intentional releases of methane – the main component of natural gas and a potent climate pollutant – throughout the oil and gas system.

On federal and tribal lands alone, oil and gas companies waste more than $330 million of natural gas annually that could heat homes, power vehicles or generate electricity.

Defending rules that protect us

In 2016, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Bureau of Land Management finalized rules that regulate methane emissions from the country’s top source of methane, the oil and gas industry.

Both sets of rules require companies to find and fix leaks, among other steps to keep methane and other pollution out of our air.

Lawmakers unsuccessfully tried to use an obscure law called the Congressional Review Act to dismantle the BLM rules and prevent similar common-sense policies in the future.

We’re fighting to make sure the EPA and BLM rules stay in place, despite attacks from the Trump administration.

Targeting methane in more ways

Strong leadership at the state level is another path to limiting methane pollution. Our work in Colorado, Pennsylvania, Ohio and California is paying off as those states show what’s possible.

We’re also pioneering better ways to find leaks and encouraging cost-effective ways to contain them.

Policy resources

Our experts provide analysis and commentary:

More about the rules and the problem of methane leakage »

Media contact

  • Stacy MacDiarmid
    (512) 691-3439 (office)
    (512) 658-2265 (cell)