Virginia Governor Ralph Northam announced on September 12 the formation of a special workgroup to “develop a framework for limiting methane leakage from natural gas infrastructure and landfills.” The announcement was part of an initiative to address climate change and ocean acidification. The Governor’s statement says:
Natural gas has significant potential as a bridge fuel to help us reduce carbon pollution that drives climate change while we transition to solar, wind, and other clean energy sources. The relative climate benefits of natural gas compared to other fossil fuels are well documented, but we only realize those benefits if we prevent natural gas from leaking into the atmosphere before it is burned. For that reason, and due to inaction at the federal level, Virginia must take action to limit methane pollution within its borders.
The workgroup is to be composed of environmental, academic and business stakeholders and is to work with the state’s Department of Environmental Quality to support the agency’s “collection and evaluation of data to inform the regulatory process.”