Error, group does not exist! Check your syntax! (ID: 21)

Frack-fatigued communities welcome joint Presidential promise to cut toxic methane

U.S. President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama welcome Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mrs. Grégoire-Trudeau to the White House on March 10.

U.S. President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama welcome Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mrs. Grégoire-Trudeau to the White House on March 10.

MANDAREE, N.D. –– Lisa DeVille, an enrolled member of the Three Affiliated Tribes, lauded U.S.-Canadian joint vows to curb toxic methane flaring from fracking operations, such as those that plague the Mandan Hidatsa & Arikara Tribes on her Ft. Berthold Indian Reservation.

Speaking as a board director of the non-profit umbrella coalition of the Western Organization of Resource Councils (WORC) on March 11, DeVille said the organization “applauds President Obama and Prime Minister Trudeau on their joint leadership in agreeing to cut harmful methane pollution from existing and new oil-and-gas development and combat climate change.”

U.S. President Barack Obama and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau met at the White House on March 10 and announced an agreement addressing methane pollution and a number of other climate-change measures.

“Building on a history of working together to reduce air emissions, Canada and the U.S. commit to take action to reduce methane emissions from the oil-and gas sector, the world’s largest industrial methane source, in support of achieving our respective international climate change commitments,” they said in a joint news release.

“To set us on an ambitious and achievable path, the leaders commit to reduce methane emissions by 40-45 percent below 2012 levels by 2025 from the oil-and-gas sector, and explore new opportunities for additional methane reductions. The leaders also invite other countries to join the target or develop their own methane reduction goal,” they said.

DeVille said their agreement “will go a long way toward ensuring people in oil and gas impacted communities in the United States and Canada will get some much needed relief from harmful methane emissions, while also protecting the United States and Canada from the harmful effects of climate change.”

To achieve the reduction target, both countries’ heads of state committed to regulate existing sources of methane emissions in the oil and gas sector by taking the following steps:

• The U.S. EPA will begin developing regulations for methane emissions from existing oil and gas sources immediately and will move as expeditiously as possible to complete this process. Next month, EPA will start a formal process to require companies operating existing methane emissions sources to provide information to assist in development of comprehensive standards to decrease methane emissions.

• The EPA’s Canadian corollary, Environment and Climate Change Canada, also will regulate methane emissions from new and existing oil and gas sources. Environment and Climate Change Canada will move, as expeditiously as possible, to put in place national regulations in collaboration with provinces, territories, indigenous peoples and other stakeholders. Environment and Climate Change Canada intends to publish an initial phase of proposed regulations by early 2017.

• Building on the U.S.- Canada Air Quality Agreement, both countries will work collaboratively on programs, policies, and strategies, and share experiences on reducing oil and gas methane emissions as they implement their respective federal regulations, beginning this year.

• They will improve data collection, transparency, research and development, and share knowledge of cost-effective methane reduction technologies and practices.

• Reflecting their increasing concern about the climate, environment, and energy security impacts of oil and gas flaring, particularly in sensitive regions such as the Arctic, the U.S. and Canada commit to jointly endorse the World Bank’s Zero Routine Flaring by 2030 Initiative, and report annually on progress.

The announcement follows other efforts by the Obama Administration to address methane pollution. In 2012, the EPA set emission standards to lower pollution, including methane, from fractured and re-fractured natural gas wells. Last summer, the agency proposed standards to reduce methane emissions from new and modified sources in the oil-and-gas sector.

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is developing standards to rein in flaring and venting on federal and tribal lands.

(Contact Talli Nauman, NSN Health and Environment Editor at

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.