Reps. Sherrill, Blunt Rochester Reintroduce Mitigate Methane Now Act to Improve Environmental Protections, Public Safety
Washington, DC –– Today, Representative Mikie Sherrill (NJ-11) and Representative Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-Del.) reintroduced the Mitigate Methane Now Act of 2021, which directs the Department of Energy to establish a grant program to improve public safety and environmental performance.
“As we continue to fight the current public health crisis, we cannot ignore the climate crisis,” said Rep. Sherrill, Chairwoman of House Science, Space, & Technology Environment Subcommittee. “New Jersey is home to some of the oldest natural gas infrastructure in the country. The aging pipes extending to New Jersey homes leak gases like methane into the atmosphere. Methane is harmful to our communities and a direct contributor to our greenhouse emissions, and this infrastructure needs to be replaced. This legislation is a tangible step in the fight against climate change, but working families shouldn’t be stuck with the bill for pipe replacement. That’s why I am reintroducing the Mitigate Methane Now Act, which will help prevent methane leaking into the air, protect lower-and fixed income consumers from rate increases associated with these important repairs, and spur further investment in infrastructure modernization.”
“I am proud to, once again, introduce the Mitigate Methane Now Act today with Rep. Sherrill. Repairing and replacing old, leak-prone infrastructure in the natural gas distribution system will protect our communities from potentially dangerous explosions, save consumers money, and reduce potent methane emissions that fuel climate change,” said Rep. Blunt Rochester, a member of the House Energy & Commerce Energy Subcommittee. “This bill is good for the environment, good for our economy, and good for Delaware.”
The Mitigate Methane Now Act will create a grant program for states that can be used to offset the impact of rate increases to low-income households. It also provides incentives for natural gas distribution companies to accelerate, expand, and enhance improvement to the distribution system.
States throughout the Northeast have been working with their public utility commissions to develop a strategy to replace these old and leaky pipes. Typically, consumers pay, through rate increases, the costs of essential pipeline repair and replacement. 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.
In June 2020, the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis recommended a set of policy proposals that could reduce the pollution and emissions causing climate change. The report specifically called for timely passage of Rep. Sherrill’s Mitigate Methane Now Act.
Rep. Sherrill is the Chairwoman of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee’s Environment Subcommittee. She first introduced this bill to help curb climate change and encourage investment in modern infrastructure in September 2020.