Remove regulation of methane ("natural" or fracked gas)? Unconscionable!

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposes to rescind an existing regulation of methane leaks in the oil and gas industry. Methane is a powerful greenhouse gas that drives climate change must faster than carbon dioxide.

The proposed changes would mean more methane leaks, more climate change, more health impacts, more deaths.

Tell the EPA that you strongly oppose their proposed changes. Submit your comments today. We make it easy for you. Here's how: Feel free to draw on the following text, but put it in your own words. Be sure to remove the numbering, the instructions, etc. Then, enter it into the form below and press "send."

Note: Your comment, including your name and city/state, will be visible on the public docket.

1. Explain why you are writing. Introduce yourself and indicate why this issue matters to you. Are you writing as a health professional? A PSR member? Someone who lives near a fracking site, fracked-gas pipeline or compressor station? Then, express your opposition to the changes the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency proposes to make in the "Emission Standards for New, Reconstructed, and Modified Sources within the Oil and Natural Gas Sector."

2. Call out methane. Remind the EPA that methane, a powerful climate change accelerator, leaks across its entire supply chain. These leaks accelerate climate change and thus increase threats to our health and our lives, here and worldwide. You might want to include this fact:

  • The U.S. oil and gas industry releases 13 million metric tons of methane from its operations each year--nearly 60 percent more than EPA estimated. Without strong methane pollution standards, the climate impacts could be enormous.

3. State why you are concerned about climate change. Is it on behalf of yourself and your family? your community? or the entire world? Specify the health effects from climate change that most concern you personally.

4. Reference the VOCs that leak along with methane. Cite the risks to health, and feel free to mention if you or someone you care about suffers from any of the associated diseases:

  • VOCs contribute to the formation of ground-level ozone, a pollutant that damages the lungs, aggravates chronic lung diseases and pre-existing heart diseases, and likely causes premature deaths.
  • VOCs associated with gas extraction include the carcinogen benzene and the neurotoxins toluene and xylene. VOCs endanger the health of people living near oil and gas infrastructure.

5. Problems with EPA's proposed actions. Tell why the proposed changes should be rejected. It would:

  • basically remove regulation of methane, a super-powerful greenhouse gas;
  • shelter an entire segment of the oil and natural gas sector from necessary regulation;
  • allow more methane and VOCs to escape into the atmosphere;
  • endanger the health and, ultimately, the lives of Americans and people around the world.

6. Remind the EPA of their mission. Reject their proposed changes. The EPA's mission is to protect our health and well-being. They can live up to that mission by withdrawing the changes they have proposed to the Rule and, instead, protect health by enforcing the existing New Source Performance Standards.

Environmental Protection Agency
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