By Marie Cusick
January 18, 2016
Governor Tom Wolf will make a major announcement Tuesday about his administration’s efforts to combat climate change. He is expected to target methane emissions from the oil and gas industry.
Gretchen Dahlkemper of the group Moms Clean Air Force is scheduled to meet with Wolf and other parents ahead of a Facebook town hall meeting he’s hosting on climate change.
“The governor ran on protecting our families from the oil and gas industry– especially the air pollution. We’re hoping this is the rule that’s been promised,” says Dahlkemper. “Every indication is that it is.”
No one from the governor’s office was available to comment. State offices were closed Monday for the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.
In September the EPA proposed the first federal rules to keep methane from oil and gas out of the atmosphere. Methane is the main component of natural gas. Compared to carbon dioxide, it is a much more potent greenhouse gas, although it stays in the planet’s atmosphere for a shorter time period.
Department of Environmental Protection Secretary John Quigley recently signaled his agency’s next regulations would relate to methane emissions.
“We have to keep pace with the industry,” Quigley said on a recent conference call with reporters, while discussing new drilling regulations. “Methane is a subject we’re certainly looking at.”
Environmentalists say both methane and carbon emissions must be cut sharply in order to address climate change. The oil and gas industry is the nation’s second largest source of methane emissions after agriculture.