BlueGreen Alliance calls for strong US methane reduction strategy

The BlueGreen Alliance, a coalition of 10 national labor unions and 5 environmental organizations, urged the Obama administration to adopt a strong methane reduction strategy with the US oil and gas industry as a major component.

The goal is to advance the administration’s climate action plan and meet its goal of reducing the nation’s global warming pollution 17% by 2020, the group’s executive director, Kim Glas, said in an Oct. 10 letter to US President Barack Obama.

“The oil and gas industry is the nation’s largest industrial source of methane, the main component of natural gas and a potent greenhouse gas,” she maintained. “Reducing methane emissions throughout the industry’s operations needs to be a key part of our nation’s strategy to address climate change.”

The White House said in March that the US Environmental Protection Agency would determine sometime this fall how best to reduce methane emissions from oil and gas operations, Glas said.

She said the group supports adopting national standards to regulate oil and gas industry methane emissions, which could contribute substantially to meeting the administration’s 2020 goal “with even greater reductions post-2020.”

The alliance’s members from organized labor are the United Auto Workers; United Steelworkers; Utility Workers Union of America; Service Employees International Union; Communications Workers of America; American Federation of Teachers; Amalgamated Transit Union; Sheet Metal, Air, Rail, and Transportation Union; International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers; and United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipe Fitting Industry of the United States and Canada.

The Sierra Club, Natural Resources Defense Council, National Wildlife Federation, Union of Concerned Scientists, and EDF Action, the Environmental Defense Fund’s political action arm, are the coalition’s remaining members.

Contact Nick Snow at

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