Methane emissions are a dangerous greenhouse gas and a powerful contributor to climate change, with an impact on global temperature roughly 84 times that of carbon dioxide over a 20-year period. The EPA recently proposed draft rules to reduce methane emissions, and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is expected soon to issue rules guiding methane releases on public lands. While energy companies have resisted regulation in the past, given the urgent need to curb GHG emissions, the group of shareholders is soliciting strong industry support of the proposed rules as a demonstration of a corporate commitment to help counter climate change. The proposed rulemaking is part of a broader climate change regulatory agenda pursued by President Obama, designed to hold global temperature rise to 2 degrees centigrade. The EPA is expected to complete the rule in 2016, after a 60-day public comment period. ICCR submitted formal comment on the rule on December 3, 2015.
The health, environmental, and economic impacts of methane and associated air emissions are substantial, and there are many cost-effective technologies and services available to business to reduce methane emissions. Businesses that implement GHG emissions reduction plans proactively will be ahead of the game as these and more inevitable regulations are approved.
An ICCR-led coalition of 37 investors, including asset management companies, hospital systems, mutual funds, and faith-based organizations, sent letters to 31 leading oil & gas and energy companies, voicing their concerns about the impact of methane emissions on climate change, urging them to engage constructively in the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) current methane rulemaking process.
The letters call on companies to engage constructively in the ongoing national methane rulemaking processes by filing public comments.
Companies that have responded in writing include:
We have had constructive dialogues about the proposed rule with:
In addition, meetings are planned with Valero and SM Energy. Investors will continue to talk with companies about problems related to methane leaks from existing equipment.