Four years after passing a historic climate law in New York, special interests and state policymakers are poised to roll back these regulations by changing the timeline over how methane is measured, InsideClimateNews reports. Through a bill introduced by Sen. Kevin Parker (D-21), the state would go from measuring methane emissions over a 20-year period to a 100-year timeframe – using what Katherine Nadeau, deputy director of the environmental nonprofit Catskill Mountainkeeper, calls “magic math” that weakens the law in a way that could allow additional fossil fuel development.
The technical change, though wonky, is big, and “would send an awful signal to anybody watching,” she told InsideClimateNews. “If we’re going to lead on climate, then we have got to make a strong run at the mandates we set out in our climate law.” 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. By rolling back the strongest measures of methane in the country, New York’s changes could impact other states’ regulations as well. (InsideClimateNews)