Brooklyn Staab | Opinion Editor & Publicity Manager
November 8, 2021
Methane, a greenhouse gas responsible for approximately 30% of the earth’s atmosphere temperature rise, will now be more heavily monitored by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Methane is released from the use of fossil fuels and from the extraction and transportation of these fossil fuels. The overall goal of the U.S. Methane Emissions Restrictions Reduction Plan is to reduce the number of methane emissions in 2020 by 30% in ten years.
Originally, the EPA set stricter rules on methane emissions during the Obama administration; however, these rules were heavily relaxed during the Trump administration. The EPA’s original goal was to prevent 11 million metric tons of carbon emissions by 2025 and have strict rules on drilling fossil fuels to limit methane emissions.
Climate destabilization is evident, and greenhouse gasses emissions are proven to add to climate change, hence the urgency many feel to find reusable energy and end the use of fossil fuels. “I support putting an end to the emission of greenhouse gasses due to the drastic negative impact they have on our environment,” junior Hendrick Osterkamp said.
The act is focusing mostly on restricting existing methane sources and setting stricter regulations on pipelines, but also attacks the number two source of methane emissions: landfills. This includes limiting food waste and adding measures to capture methane from landfills.
Moreover, the Department of Housing and Urban Development will be taking initiatives to find greener building plans.
“Fossil fuels and greenhouse gas emissions need to be a priority to act upon,” senior Psi Padhya said. “Over the many years, anthropogenic activities have caused this issue to worsen, and if we don’t make the change now, our planet may never be cured.”
Although methane only accounts for 30% of climate destabilization, it is extremely potent- meaning it can rapidly absorb thermal radiation and create an immense amount of short-term warming in the atmosphere. So, Biden’s goal of reducing its emissions would, in theory, maintain the Paris Agreement of limiting global warming at 1.5-Celsius degrees. In addition to the United State’s, 100 other countries have vowed to join in on these efforts.
“Going green will most definitely help our planet from dying, and it may even save it,” Padhya added. “To bring this to the next level, utilizing green energy will be highly impactful.”
Read the U.S. Methane Emissions Restrictions Reduction Plan released by the White House Office of Domestic Climate Policy.