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EEN Celebrates $350 Million to Reduce Dangerous Methane Emissions

Photo of yellow methane pipelines

The Evangelical Environmental Network applauds the Department of Energy (DOE) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announcement of $350 million in funding to 14 states to identify, measure, and permanently reduce methane emissions from low-producing (marginal) conventional oil and gas wells as part of the Inflation Reduction Act’s Methane Emissions Reduction Program. Cutting wasteful and dangerous methane emissions from the oil and gas sector is one of the fastest ways to slow global warming now and is also crucial to defending our children’s health from toxic gases associated with methane leaks and other contaminates that despoil God’s amazing creation. These funds will facilitate states to support industry efforts to cut methane emissions from wells on non-federal lands and support the environmental restoration of well sites.

In response to this announcement, EEN President & CEO Rev. Dr. Jessica Moerman issued the following statement: 

“Reducing oil and gas methane emissions is one of the most efficient and effective ways to address climate change, reduce needless waste, and protect the health of the millions of Americans living in or around active oil and gas sites. Low-producing wells provide only 6% of total US methane and oil production but account for 50% of all leaked methane emissions. We urge states to swiftly distribute these funds to plug these wells. While we welcome any action that eliminates wasteful methane leaks, it’s high time for industry to take responsibility for their own messes instead of relying on the American taxpayer to foot the bill.”

The following state agencies received conditional funding commitments based on participating states’ proportions of the total number of low-producing conventional wells on non-federal lands:

  • Texas Commission on Environmental Quality: $134,151,343
  • Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection: $44,457,220 
  • West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection: $37,791,464 
  • California State Lands Commission: $21,913,688  
  • Ohio Department of Natural Resources: $19,941,597
  • Illinois Department of Natural Resources: $17,367,009
  • Louisiana Department of Natural Resources: $15,661,335 
  • New Mexico Department of Energy, Minerals, and Natural Resources: $14,656,151 
  • Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet: $12,912,198 
  • Colorado Department of Natural Resources: $12,608,270
  • New York State Department of Environmental Conservation: $8,123,602 
  • Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy: $5,022,306 
  • State of Utah Department of Environmental Quality: $2,750,115 
  • State of Virginia Department of Energy: $2,643,702

These conditional commitments for grant funding are the first in a series of funding opportunities through the Inflation Reduction Act to monitor and reduce methane emissions from the oil and gas sector. In 2024, EPA and DOE intend to make additional competitive solicitations available to a broader range of applicants to advance the deployment of technologies and practices to monitor and reduce emissions of methane and other greenhouse gases.

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