Poll: Voters Want Strong Methane Rules that Don’t Give Smaller Wells a Pass to Pollute

October 19, 2021
Hannah Blatt, hblatt@edfaction.org, 202-572-3534

(Washington, D.C. – Oct. 19, 2021) EDF Action, the advocacy partner of Environmental Defense Fund, today released a national poll commissioned by Morning Consult showing broad and diverse support among registered voters for comprehensive rules to reduce oil and gas methane pollution.

The Environmental Protection Agency is currently in the process of developing nationwide methane rules for the oil and gas industry and is expected to release proposed rules in the near future.

The polling found an equally strong majority of voters supports rules that resist carve-outs and comprehensively cover all types of oil and gas wells, including low-producing wells.  

Key poll findings:

· 71% of all registered voters support the U.S. strengthening rules to reduce oil and gas methane pollution, including 73% of Independents and 50% of Republicans.

· A diverse range of voters support stronger methane regulation, including 83% of Black voters, 72% of Hispanic voters and 75% of Asian voters.

· Stronger methane regulations are widely supported by both urban (81%), suburban (70%) and rural (61%) voters.

· A wide majority of voters (70%) believe it is important that strengthened methane rules comprehensively cover all types of wells, including low-producing wells.

· Nearly two-thirds of voters (64%) would be more likely to support stronger methane regulations if they led to more jobs in the methane mitigation industry.

· Even after hearing the oil and gas industry claim that low-producing wells are too costly to inspect for methane leaks, half (50%) of voters say this makes them more likely to support comprehensive rules that cover all types of wells.

Explore the national polling memo here.

“Reducing oil and gas methane pollution is the Biden administration’s fastest, most impactful path to addressing climate change, and an overwhelming majority of voters wants strong, comprehensive action from EPA,” said Jon Goldstein, EDF Action Senior Director of Regulatory & Legislative Affairs. “Powerful protections that include commonsense requirements at low-producing wells have deep, diverse support, and have the potential to create jobs while protecting our climate.”

This survey of 2,001 voters was conducted from Oct. 11-13 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points.