Advocates and lawmakers are calling on the Biden administration to block a massive Arctic oil drilling operation and ban transporting liquified methane gas by train, all while the administration is considering creating a “climate responsible” label for some types of methane gas. A final administrative decision on ConocoPhillips’ controversial Willow Project in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska is expected this week, and Indigenous and environmental advocates are pushing the Biden administration to reject it.
Meanwhile, seven members of Pennsylvania’s congressional delegation are calling on the Department of Transportation to permanently ban transport of liquified methane gas by rail as a decision from the Biden administration on the issue is expected this month. All of this comes as the Biden administration is meeting with oil and gas companies and foreign officials about setting emission reduction and carbon offset standards for what a DOE official described as potentially “climate responsible” methane gas.
Methane, the main component in what the industry describes as “natural” gas, traps more than 80 times more heat in the atmosphere than CO2 over a 20-year timespan. The U.S. oil and gas industry is a major source of methane pollution and a growing body of research warns the EPA is significantly underestimating methane pollution levels. (Willow: Inside Climate News; LNG Trains: Inside Climate News; Gas newspeak: Reuters)