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Illinois Attorney General
Kwame Raoul

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March 18, 2024

Chicago – Attorney General Kwame Raoul today, as part of a coalition of 20 attorneys general, filed a motion to intervene in the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit to defend the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s Oil and Gas Methane Rule.

 The EPA’s final rule strengthens the regulation of methane emissions from new, modified, and reconstructed facilities in the oil and natural gas sector, and for the first time, regulates emissions from existing facilities in this sector. Currently, the rule is being challenged by a group of states led by Texas and Oklahoma, which aim to set back these critical methane emissions standards for the oil and natural gas industry.

“The uncontrolled emissions of greenhouse gases like methane contribute to climate change, which is intensifying unexpected floods, droughts and other environmental disasters,” Raoul said. “That’s why I am joining my fellow attorneys general in defense of the EPA’s rule to strengthen regulation of methane emissions in the oil and natural gas sector.”

Methane is a super pollutant up to 80 times more potent as a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide in its ability to trap heat in the atmosphere. It is the major component of natural gas, a fossil fuel, and is emitted to the atmosphere during oil and gas production, processing, transmission, and storage. These processes make oil and natural gas the largest single industrial source of methane emissions in the U.S.

 Raoul and the coalition express strong support for the EPA’s final rule which will:

  • Require all oil and gas well sites, centralized production facilities, and compressor stations to be routinely monitored for leaks.
  • Phase out routine flaring of natural gas from new oil wells.
  • Set emissions standards for certain pieces of equipment not previously covered by a prior rule set in 2016.
  • Allow owners and operators flexibility to utilize a variety of monitoring techniques.
  • Set guidelines for states to follow as they develop plans for establishing, implementing, and enforcing emission standards.
  • Create a “super-emitter program” that leverages third-party expertise to find large leaks and releases.

 Attorney General Raoul is joined in filing the motion by the attorneys general of California, Connecticut, Colorado, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Minnesota, North Carolina, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington and Wisconsin.