20 Democratic Attorneys General File Motion In Support Of Biden Methane Rule

Twenty Democratic state attorneys general are showing their support for the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) oil and gas methane rule. This comes in response to a lawsuit filed by Republican AGs challenging the rule.

Last week, Gentner Drummond, the leader of Oklahoma’s GOP states, along with 24 other states, filed a lawsuit against the rule in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. Additionally, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton responded to a request from the state Railroad Commission by filing a separate challenge on March 8.

A counter-motion has been put forth by a group of 20 Democratic attorneys general, with California’s Rob Bonta leading the charge. They are expressing their support for the final EPA rule, which is the first of its kind to regulate emissions from both existing and new fossil fuel facilities. The attorneys general from Connecticut, Colorado, Delaware, Illinois, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Minnesota, North Carolina, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin, and Washington, D.C. have all joined Bonta in this endeavor.

Attorney General Bonta expressed his frustration with the baseless criticisms aimed at climate change mitigation and methane emission reduction efforts. He emphasized the negligent behavior of the oil and gas industry, which has allowed significant amounts of greenhouse gases to leak into the environment. Bonta praised the Biden Administration’s rule as a crucial advancement in addressing the urgent climate crisis driven by methane emissions. He further emphasized that attorneys general nationwide stand united in their commitment to defending these necessary solutions against blatant attacks.

Methane, although it lingers in the atmosphere for a shorter duration compared to carbon dioxide, is a greenhouse gas that is approximately 80 times more effective at trapping heat. Recent data from the International Energy Agency revealed that the top nations contributing to methane emissions generated around 120 million metric tons in 2023, showing a slight increase from the previous year. Notably, the United States ranked first in methane emissions from oil and gas, while China took the lead in emissions stemming from coal.

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