Today President Obama and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced an agreement to curb methane pollution from their respective country’s oil and gas industries. This means that the EPA is going to begin the process of creating regulation to tackle methane emissions from existing sources just like Colorado! Our state has been a national leader in this effort and was the first state to create regulations to monitor well-sites, fix leaks and capture emissions.
We currently have almost 30 elected officials from Colorado (in addition to elected officials from 8 other states) who have signed on to our national letter of support for an existing source rule. If you have not yet joined your fellow Colorado local electeds (like me!) in signing a National Mayors and Commissioners letter to President Obama and Gina McCarthy in support of methane standards, please consider doing so. Here is a link to the letter: http://goo.gl/forms/q27V1OL9KS
I would also ask that you bring attention to this announcement and highlight its importance for local elected officials by sharing it on social media.
Thank you for your time and consideration!
Mayor of Lafayette
Suggested social media:
Thank you @POTUS & @GinaEPA for protecting our environment & health by cutting methane from existing oil & gas operations! #cutmethane #ActOnClimate
Now THIS is big. President Obama and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced a joint commitment to #ActOnClimate and #cutmethane pollution. Their agreement will help protect our environment and public health in the process.
THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 10, 2016
U.S.-Canada Joint Statement on Climate, Energy, and Arctic Leadership
President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau share a common vision of a prosperous and sustainable North American economy, and the opportunities afforded by advancing clean growth. They emphasize and embrace the special relationship between the two countries and their history of close collaboration on energy development, environmental protection, and Arctic leadership. The two leaders regard the Paris Agreement as a turning point in global efforts to combat climate change and anchor economic growth in clean development. They resolve that the United States and Canada must and will play a leadership role internationally in the low carbon global economy over the coming decades, including through science-based steps to protect the Arctic and its peoples. Canada and the U.S. will continue to respect and promote the rights of Indigenous peoples in all climate change decision making. Furthermore, the leaders emphasize the importance of the U.S. and Canada continuing to cooperate closely with Mexico on climate and energy action and commit to strengthen a comprehensive and enduring North American climate and energy partnership.
Implementing the Paris Agreement
Canada and the U.S. will work together to implement the historic Paris Agreement, and commit to join and sign the Agreement as soon as feasible. As we implement our respective Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs), the leaders also commit to, in 2016, completing mid-century, long-term low greenhouse gas emission development strategies pursuant to the Paris Agreement and encouraging this approach with members of the G-20.
Canada and the U.S. will work with developing country partners to assist in implementation of their INDCs and strengthening their adaptation efforts. Both countries will strive to enhance the effectiveness of adaptation assistance by coordinating support for adaptation planning and action through the National Adaptation Plans Global Network. The leaders also commit to working closely to promote the full implementation of the enhanced transparency framework with common modalities, procedures and guidelines under the Paris Agreement. They affirm their support for the new Capacity Building Initiative for Transparency, designed to enhance institutional and technical capacity to meet transparency requirements.
Recognizing the role that carbon markets can play in helping countries achieve their climate targets while also driving low-carbon innovation, both countries commit to work together to support robust implementation of the carbon markets-related provisions of the Paris Agreement. The federal governments, together and in close communication with states, provinces and territories, will explore options for ensuring the environmental integrity of transferred units, in particular to inform strong INDC accounting and efforts to avoid “double-counting” of emission reductions. They will also encourage sub-national governments to share lessons learned about the design of effective carbon pricing systems and supportive policies and measures. The countries will expand their collaboration in this area over time.
Coordinated domestic climate action
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. 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. To achieve this target, both countries commit to:
· Regulate existing sources of methane emissions in the oil and gas sector:
Ø The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (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.
Ø Environment and Climate Change Canada will also 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 stakeholders. Environment and Climate Change Canada intends to publish an initial phase of proposed regulations by early 2017.
· Work collaboratively on federal measures to reduce methane emissions: 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.
· Improve data collection, transparency, and R&D and share knowledge of cost-effective methane reduction technologies and practices: To ensure our actions are based on the best available data and technology, Canada and the U.S. will work together to improve methane data collection and emissions quantification, and transparency of emissions reporting in North America, and share knowledge of cost-effective methane reduction technologies and practices.
· Jointly endorse the World Bank’s Zero Routine Flaring by 2030 Initiative: 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.
Both Canada and the U.S. affirm their commitment to reduce use and emissions of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) using their respective domestic frameworks and will propose new actions in 2016. Canada and the U.S. are both demonstrating leadership by updating their public procurement processes to transition away from high global warming potential HFCs, whenever feasible, through government purchase of more sustainable and greener equipmentand products.
Recognizing the excellent collaboration between Canada and the U.S. to establish world-class, aligned regulations and programs to improve the fuel efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas and air pollutant emissions from on-road vehicles, the leaders reaffirm their commitment to continue this strong collaboration towards the finalization and implementation of a second phase of aligned greenhouse gas emission standards for post-2018 model year on-road heavy-duty vehicles. The two countries are currently implementing aligned requirements for greenhouse gas emission standards for cars and light trucks and the leaders commit to continue close collaboration in conducting mid-term evaluations of the applicable standards for the 2022-2025 model years to ensure further acceleration of the improvement of vehicle efficiency and zero emission technologies