Fossil fuel interests are no longer just marketing lies about “natural gas.” They’re getting them codified into law.

by Arielle Samuelson and Emily Atkin, Heated

It was a big deal when Ohio Governor Mike DeWine signed a law designating methane gas as “green energy” in January. The bill’s passage was covered by local newsnational newsindustry publications and glossy magazines.

So when we recently learned that Tennessee Governor Bill Lee signed a similar law last month—HB 0946, which legally defines methane gas as “clean energy”—we were a bit surprised. Aside from Caroline Eggers at Nashville’s WPLN News, who has done two great stories on the bill, we couldn’t find any coverage of the legislation.

Harmful emissions into the atmosphere causing global warming.

It’s possible that most local and national media were distracted. The bill, which states that public utilities must count “natural gas” as a “permissible source” of clean energy, was signed into law on April 12, 2023—the same day state lawmaker Justin J. Pearson was reinstated to the Tennessee Legislature after being infamously expelled for protesting on the chamber floor. (Heck, that’s what we were covering at the time).

Whatever the reason, Tennessee’s new law deserves the same level of scrutiny as Ohio’s, as it’s a key part of a growing industry-funded strategy to delay climate action by codifying misinformation about natural gas into law. Like gas, the strategy is most harmful when people don’t notice it seeping in. So today, we’re belatedly injecting some odor.

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