Act Now! – Cut Methane Pollution


Cut Methane Pollution

Image Credit: Clean Air Task Force

Image Credit: Clean Air Task Force

On November 11, 2022, the Biden Harris Administration announced a proposal through the EPA to strengthen and expand Methane regulations. The American Sustainable Business Network (ASBN) supports these efforts, and has released our own Business Case for Methane Emissions Regulation.

The EPA proposed rule aims to tighten methane emissions regulations in order to protect human health and the planet. By strengthening standards for leak detection and repair, expanding regulations for inspection of closed wells, and creating programs for third-party monitoring of super emitters, this proposal will make strides in reducing the harms that arise from methane pollution. This proposed rule is a major step forward for climate actions, will spur job creation, and will make significant progress in the transition to a just and sustainable clean energy economy.

Below are talking points from the ASBN Business Case to be used in support of increased Methane regulation for the protection of people and planet, and to support an equitable clean energy transition.

  • ➤ Addressing Methane pollution from the sources as well as identifying and supporting innovation will spur economic opportunity through a clean energy transition
    • Methane traps 80x as much heat as carbon dioxide
    • ♦ Currently, Methane makes up about ⅓ of total warming from greenhouse gas emissions
    • ♦ Thus, taking action to mitigate methane emissions is of utmost importance to support the transition to clean energy and protect the planet from the growing risks associated with climate change
  • ➤ Business and Supply chains will be directly and negatively impacted by methane without supporting strong policy action and investment. Taking action to reduce the impacts of methane will
    • ♦ Mitigate climate risks
    • ♦ Prevent continued harm to local communities and ecosystems
    • ♦ Reduce pricing uncertainty and market volatility
    • ♦ Regulate the harmful impacts of methane to stimulate investment and innovation
  • ➤ Nearly 70% of companies in the current methane mitigation industries are small businesses
  • ➤ Upgrading leaking infrastructure has been, and continues to be, a relatively easy short-term approach to mitigating harm to the environment that ultimately saves customers costs by eliminating the need for delivery charges to make up for lost methane. The estimated increase in revenue sits at about $188 million annually if methane leaks are addressed.
  • ➤ The Agriculture sector is one of the largest emitters of methane, mainly attributed to factory farming and cattle through the process of enteric fermentation, thus has the largest potential for reduction of methane emissions in the U.S.
    • ♦ Call to move away from concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs)
    • ♦ Instead prioritize regenerative agriculture production that improves soil health and sequesters carbon dioxide, which has the potential to offset methane produced by cattle
  • ➤ The development and implementation of meaningful policy that supports control technologies, cleaning up retired extraction sites, an end to harmful and dangerous practices such as routine flaring and supports a just transition to sustainable energy sources will deliver the greatest long-term economic and job creation benefits.
  • ➤ The American Sustainable Business Network believes the U.S. must work actively to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions and to transition away from an extractive economy through public policy and strong regulation that will push private investment and foster greater innovation.

The EPA collected public comments on this rule up until the deadline of February 13th, 2023. ASBN thanks the 240 business leaders who submitted a comment using our draft letter in support of this rule and look forward to the outcome of this rule on Methane.