19 states, DC defend EPA methane rule in court

By Lesley Clark | 03/20/2024 07:00 AM EDT

EPA’s regulation targets potent greenhouse gas emissions from oil and gas operations. Red states have sued to stop the rule from taking effect.

Rob Bonta speaks.

California Attorney General Rob Bonta is leading other Democratic states in defending EPA's methane rule for oil and gas operations. Justin Sullivan/AFP via Getty Images

A coalition of 19 Democratic-led states and the District of Columbia are defending the Biden administration’s new effort to reduce methane emissions from the oil and gas sector, arguing that the regulation targets an overlooked but dangerous super-pollutant.

Led by California Attorney General Rob Bonta, the states and D.C. filed a motion Monday to intervene in support of EPA in lawsuits from Republican-led states that have the potential to take down the rule, a key component of the White House plan to tackle climate change.

Bonta called the lawsuits “baseless attacks on efforts to combat climate change and tackle methane emissions.”

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He said that methane, which has about 80 times the heat-trapping capability of carbon dioxide over a 20-year period, has been overlooked “while the oil and gas industry carelessly — and at times, knowingly — allowed enormous quantities of greenhouse gas to leak into our environment.”

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