An Open Letter: Energy waste threatens our climate security


June 16th, 2021 

Dear U.S. Representatives:

Defense and intelligence experts agree that climate change is a direct threat to our national security. It threatens to disrupt our defense infrastructure across the globe and further destabilize regions that are vulnerable to conflict and war.

While the nation and the world grapple with how best to address the global challenge of climate change, there is one simple thing Congress can do now to ease this existential crisis.

Methane is a powerful greenhouse gas, more than 80 times more effective at trapping heat than carbon dioxide over a 20-year timeframe. In fact, about 25 percent of the global warming we are experiencing today is attributable to methane.

The oil and gas industry is the largest industrial source of methane pollution. Operators leak and vent methane to the atmosphere to the tune of 16 million metric tons per year. 

Leaked and vented gas is not only a waste of an important, domestic energy resource, it is a large contributor to climate change.

This week, the House Energy and Commerce Committee is considering H.J.Res 34, a measure that will reinstate methane regulations that were rolled back in 2020 and lay the groundwork for the adoption of next-generation standards to curb methane pollution from the oil and gas industry.

A similar measure that passed the Senate last month on a bipartisan vote was supported by environmental organizations, oil and gas companies and industry trade organizations. It marks a return to sensible methane policy that will help our nation address climate change and the dangerous and disruptive impacts it will have to our national security.


Major General (Ret.) Paul Eaton
Senior Advisor
Vet Voice Foundation