Sherrill Proposal Would Replace Distribution Pipelines, Which are Critical to Fighting Methane Emissions that Contribute to Climate Change
The House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis today unveiled a comprehensive congressional climate action framework, which highlights Representative Mikie Sherrill’s Mitigate Methane Now Act (H.R. 5542). Representative Sherrill’s bill, introduced in January, would help mitigate climate change immediately by encouraging the replacement of old distribution pipelines, which are a major source of methane leakage across the country, and particularly in the Northeast where we have the oldest infrastructure.
The Select Committee’s climate action framework outlines ambitious and achievable policies to:
- Grow our economy and put Americans back to work in clean energy jobs;
- Protect the health of all families;
- Make sure our communities and farmers can withstand the impacts of climate change;
- Protect America’s land and water for the next generation.
The report specifically recommends timely action on cutting pollution and emissions, specifically pointing to Rep. Sherrill’s Mitigate Methane Now Act as a possible tool for Congress to act on.
New Jersey is home to some of the oldest natural gas infrastructure in the country. These aging pipes that bring natural gas to New Jersey homes leak harmful gases like methane into our atmosphere. Methane is 100 times more potent than carbon dioxide – and though a relatively short living gas, it’s effect on warming the climate cannot be understated: the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) reports that methane is more than 80 times as effective at trapping heat than carbon dioxide, making it a prime culprit for our warming temperatures.
States through the Northeast have been working with their public utility commissions to strategize on how to replace these old and leaky pipes. Typically, costs of essential pipeline repair and replacement are passed on to consumers. This bill will help ensure that lower- and fixed-income consumers are protected from increases in their monthly bill when these important repairs and modernization efforts occur. H.R. 5542 provides money to states to offset rate increases for low-income consumers.
"The committee’s framework recognizes the danger methane poses to the environment and the health of Americans across the country and I’m glad to see my legislation included in their climate action framework,” said Rep. Sherrill. “Replacing old, leaky pipelines will have an immediate impact on our efforts to curb emissions and will help put money back in the pockets of New Jerseyans.”
The Select Committee’s plan would put the country on a path to net-zero carbon pollution by 2050, if not earlier. It would power economic recovery through clean energy investment and family-sustaining jobs, and address the legacy of environmental injustice harming America’s low-income communities and communities of color.
The House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis was created at the outset of the 116th Congress to deliver policy recommendations to other House committees on how to solve the climate crisis. The full Select Committee report is viewable here.