Biden reinstates federal methane rules rolled back by Trump

President Joe Biden restored limits on methane emissions from oil and gas facilities across the U.S. in a reversal of former-President Donald Trump’s rollback of the restrictions that were intended to reduce impacts on climate change from fossil fuel production.

Biden reinstated the regulations by signing a resolution under the Congressional Review Act (CRA) that was sponsored by U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich, a New Mexico Democrat, and received passing votes in both the U.S. House and Senate.

Before leaving office, the Trump administration rescinded the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s methane standards, effectively removing the agency’s ability to regulate methane, while also lifting requirements for air pollution on transmission and storage facilities of oil and natural gas.

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Upon signing of the CRA resolution, Heinrich said the move was needed to restore the U.S.’ commitment to the environment and efforts to mitigate the effects of pollution.

U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich

“Today, we put a down payment on the fight against the climate crisis. I’m proud to champion this effort to restore responsible controls on methane emissions – a leading contributor to climate change – and protect the health of our communities,” Heinrich said.

“It’s time to keep moving forward with real, meaningful actions that leave our children with a healthier planet.”

Methane is a greenhouse gas and a key ingredient of extracted natural gas in New Mexico, which is also brought to the surface during oil production.