Sign the petition: Demand the EPA limit methane, the oil & gas industry super-pollutant
Environmental Protection Agency
The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) just issued rules to limit methane emissions from the oil and gas industry for public comment.
We need to make sure they hear from hundreds of thousands of Americans that regulating super-polluting methane is essential, and that the EPA should go further.
Every year, the oil and gas industry emits hundreds of millions of tons of methane from wells, pipelines, and storage facilities. Methane has a massive impact on global warming, around 80 times the impact of carbon dioxide in the short term.
Leaking wells can also release toxic chemicals, heavy metals, and particulate matter into the air that harm people locally.
That’s why it is so important that the EPA is proposing to take action to dramatically reduce methane emissions from both existing and new wells and infrastructure nationwide.
But, there will be strong opposition to the rules and efforts to water them down.
The EPA needs to hear that you support the commonsense regulations proposed which are essential to protecting our planet’s future, and that the EPA should go further to protect our health and the planet.
Environmental Protection Agency
From: [Your Name]
RE: Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2021-0317
Dear EPA Administrator Regan,
I am writing in support of proposed EPA regulations to limit greenhouse gas emissions and volatile organic compounds from oil and natural gas sources and to encourage the EPA to go further to limit emissions.
Currently hundreds of thousands of wells, pipelines, and storage tanks are leaking millions of tons of methane per year. Methane is a potent greenhouse gas with up to 80 times the short-term global warming potential of carbon dioxide. Oil and gas wells and infrastructure are a major source of methane leaks, and recent research demonstrates that the industry is leaking far more methane than previously estimated.
The new rule will also go a long way to meeting US obligations under the Global Methane Pledge, which requires a reduction of methane emissions by 30 percent by 2030.
I support the EPA’s proposals to limit emissions by:
- Regulating oil and gas based on emissions, not on the amount of production from a particular well. Reducing the amount of methane emitted is the key to limiting climate impacts and protecting communities.
- Requiring a zero percent leak rate from pneumatic controllers, which collectively leak an estimated 51 billion cubic feet of methane in the production of oil and gas per year
- Prohibiting venting of methane, which is a major source of emissions
- Addressing leaks from storage tanks
- Providing an advanced screening approach to accelerate leak detection and remediation
- Reducing emissions from maintenance activities, like liquids unloading
I urge the EPA to go further to ensure public health is prioritized, frontline communities are protected, climate emissions are addressed, and oil and gas companies are held accountable:
- The rule currently incorporates a tiered system for regulating wells, and the smallest wells will only receive a one-time inspection. These small wells are often the most leak prone and should be subject to frequent inspection
- The rule does not regulate routine flaring, which is an important source of emissions. Both Colorado and New Mexico regulate flaring in-state and the US EPA should follow their examples.
- The proposed regulation of storage tanks does not address smaller storage tanks and allows for a higher leak rate than current regulation in Colorado and New Mexico.
- The EPA needs to incorporate emission monitoring results generated by community groups. This important step would allow the agency to accept and prioritize monitoring results from communities and fix major leaks that are harming nearby communities more quickly.
I urge the EPA to strengthen the rules and adopt them to limit the impacts of methane on climate change and to protect local communities.
Thank you for considering my comments.