Later this year, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will be proposing the full version of its much anticipated rule limiting climate-changing methane and asthma-causing volatile organic compound (VOC) pollution from new and existing oil and gas facilities. In a draft rule published by the EPA in November 2021, the EPA specifically requested input about a variety of topics within the rule, such as lowering emissions from orphaned and abandoned wells as well as the logistics of community air monitoring networks.
We need the EPA to propose the strongest rule possible in order to avoid the worst effects of climate change, reduce carcinogens like benzene, and reduce VOC pollution that reacts in heat to form dangerous ground-level-ozone (smog). Methane pollution has 87 times the global warming potential of carbon dioxide over a 20-year time period and, according to the EPA, is responsible for 30% of the increased temperatures and precipitation we are currently experiencing. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has predicted an “above average” hurricane season for the 7th consecutive year.
In addition to the oil and gas industry’s impact on the climate chaos we are currently experiencing, researchers continue to identify new public health issues related to ground-level ozone pollution, the main component of smog. Beyond the well-known effects of smog on your respiratory system leading to conditions like asthma, a recent study has also linked smog pollution to “cognitive decline.”
Please click here to tell the EPA to propose the strongest methane standard for oil and gas facilities possible.
Joseph Otis Minott, Esq.
Executive Director and Chief Counsel