August 23rd, 2023

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AG Nessel joined a coalition of eleven other Attorney Generals in a comment letter to the U.S. Department of Transportation to support proposed rules for pipeline leak detection and repairs. The letter addresses the extensive harm caused by methane leaks and recommends that the proposed rules be applied to future gas pipeline standards overall. 

In the letter, the coalition of Attorney Generals called attention to the danger of methane leaks, both to human health and climate. Methane, also referred to as “natural gas”, is a greenhouse gas that can trap up to 25x more heat into the atmosphere over it’s lifetime compared to carbon dioxide. The letter also references a 2023 IPCC report stating that “methane emissions must be cut in approximately half of 2015 levels before 2050 in order to limit global surface temperature increases to 2℃ above 1850 levels by the end of this century”.

“We must update and strengthen federal pipeline safety rules to protect the public from harmful methane emissions, which threaten our health and exacerbate climate change,” -Attorney General Dana Nessel

The AGs support within this letter for the new proposed rule is a statement to the federal government that more can and should be done to address the climate crisis.  Unintentional methane leaks from pipelines further exacerbate the climate crisis, while counteracting the benefits of statewide policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. These proposed new rules would reduce the amount of methane that enters the atmosphere and save lives in the process.