Tell the EPA: Cut dangerous methane pollution to protect our health and climate!
The EPA has proposed new policies to reduce methane pollution from oil and gas drilling and is accepting comments on its methane proposal through January 14th, 2021.
Methane is the primary product of the shale-gas industry. Methane is a short-term, highly destructive climate-heating gas, and capturing methane is our best chance to avert climate catastrophe in the next 10 years. It leaks everywhere in the oil and gas industry due to old and faulty equipment and intentional flaring and venting. We need better methane regulation to stop these industry bad practices. For every elimination of methane leakage or intentional venting, there is also a reduction in the many co-pollutants that make people sick.Over 12.5 million Americans live near oil and gas wells, and methane from fracked gas wells is linked to major health problems, including high rates of childhood asthma.
Methane is also a much more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide at warming the planet.
The EPA's proposed methane rule will help address these issues by regulating methane pollution at existing wells for the first time and by requiring better monitoring of gas leaks, which are rampant throughout the industry and a major source of pollution.
The EPA proposal is a step in the right direction, but we need stronger policies to significantly reduce methane pollution to protect communities harmed by methane pollution from oil and gas drilling and address climate change.
Make your voice heard: tell the EPA to cut methane pollution from oil and gas and to create stronger methane rules to protect our health and fight climate change. Make sure to personalize your comments by saying how methane pollution from oil and gas impacts you and your community.
While the rule will have a significant impact by creating federal standards on methane pollution from existing oil and gas equipment for the first time, it still leaves some big gaps that will let methane polluters continue certain harmful practices. We need you to tell the EPA to:
Sign and send comments to the EPA right now and consider personalizing them with your own experience with oil and gas pollution!
- Increase monitoring of equipment leaks at small wells that create huge amounts of methane pollution
- Stop regular flaring, where oil and gas companies flare off natural gas rather than using it, creating harmful air pollution
- Create a community monitoring program
- Address abandoned/orphaned wells that are polluting local communities
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Subject: Re: Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2021-0317
I am writing in support of the EPA's proposed methane standard and to ask that the EPA take stronger action to reduce methane pollution. Over 12.5 million Americans live near enough to oil and gas drilling to be at risk for its health impacts, and methane is a major contributor to global warming as it is 86 times more potent of a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. Addressing Methane pollution is also an environmental justice issue. Oil and gas pollution disproportionately affects people of color, who have higher rates of health conditions associated with gas wells.
The long-overdue methane standards for existing oil and gas operations will help protect the health of communities harmed by oil and gas pollution and reduce the impact of methane pollution on climate change. Other provisions, including regulating methane from storage tanks and more frequent monitoring for methane leaks, will similarly have significant positive impacts on health and climate.
While we applaud the EPA for taking these important steps to regulate methane, the new rule does not go far enough to reduce methane pollution and allows for significant gaps in regulating emissions that will continue to expose people living near gas wells to severe health risks.
I urge the EPA to take stronger steps to reduce methane pollution by doing the following:
- Require monthly leak inspections at all wells and compressor stations and eliminate exemptions for smaller, high-polluting and leak-prone wells, including for wells that produce less than three tons per year of emissions.
- End routine flaring at oil and gas facilities, as states like Colorado and New Mexico have done already. Flaring is dangerous, wastes natural resources, and creates pollution that harms health and climate.
- Create a community monitoring program and incorporate community monitoring into the methane standard.
- Create standards for abandoned or orphaned wells that require owners and operators to plug and control emissions from these sources, which are responsible for huge amounts of uncontrolled pollution.
Strengthening the proposed methane rule is essential to protecting the health of communities suffering the impacts of oil and gas pollution and achieving the U.S.'s climate goals.
Thank you for your consideration,