Tell EPA to Enforce Methane Regulations

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Join United Methodist Women members across the country in telling the EPA to protect our children and our earth.

 

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently proposed a two-year delay on methane regulations needed to protect the health of the earth and the most vulnerable. Join United Methodist Women in opposing this delay by submitting a written comment below.

As United Methodist Women, putting our faith, hope and love into action means taking seriously God’s call in Genesis to be stewards of God’s creation.

The EPA’s methane regulations passed in 2016 (New Source Procedure Standards) would lead to significant reductions in emission of toxins and greenhouse gases produced by oil and gas companies. Commonsense and reasonably priced solutions to methane emission reductions already exist. However, only a handful of oil and gas companies have implemented them. EPA’s proposed delay needs to be opposed:

 

A delay will have severe health effects, especially on pregnant women and children.

Methane regulation is critical to protecting public health. Oil and gas companies release millions of metric tons of methane into the air each year. When they release methane, they also release other dangerous gases and chemicals.

In the United States, over 15 million people live near toxins emitted by oil and gas companies that include volatile organic compounds (VOCs), particulate matter, ozone, and radon. These substances can cause cancer, affect the nervous system, cause birth defects, increase the likelihood of COPD, leukemia and heart attacks, and are particularly harmful to children, pregnant women and the elderly. [PDF]

Children miss 500,000 days of school nationally each year due to ozone smog resulting from oil and gas pollution.

A 2012 study reports that babies of mothers living near natural gas plants in Colorado have increased risk of congenital heart and neural tube defects.

Preterm birth is the greatest contributor to infant death. A 2016 study of over 10,000 births in northern and central of Pennsylvania shows mothers in the most active fracking areas were 40 percent more likely to give birth prematurely.

The EPA acknowledges that that this stay could disproportionately impact the health of children.[PDF] A two-year stay would mean that over 18,000 wells would not have methane regulations needed to protect over 200,000 people living a half mile from these wells, of whom 51,000 are children.

 

Delay will harm God’s earth.

The EPA’s proposed delay poses a grave threat to our planet. Scientific consensus notes that the earth is at a catastrophic tipping point where the continued rate of greenhouse gas emissions would lead to an abrupt, irreversible change to our planet.

Methane is 86 times more potent than carbon dioxide in trapping heat over a 20-year time frame.

The methane rule would reduce methane emissions by 460,00 metric tons by 2025—this has the same climate impact as operating 11 fewer coal-fired power plants every year, or taking off 8.5 million cars off the road every year.

Higher methane levels in the air will precipitously increase the intensity and duration of heat, wildfires, heavy rain and drought and result in rising sea levels, global food and water shortages and unlivable conditions for humanity.

 

Delay is bad stewardship of God’s resources.

Being faithful stewards of God’s creation means conservation. Oil and gas companies can plug leaks, and low-cost ways to detect and fix leaks already exist. By fixing methane leaks in the United States, we can save about $1.5 billion worth of natural gas each year, enough to heat over 5 million American homes.

 

Make your voice heard!

Join United Methodist Women in opposing any type of delay to the June 2016 methane regulation and urge the EPA to focus on doing what it was established to do: protect human health and the environment. Any stay on methane regulation sickens God’s creation.

The EPA is accepting public comments until August 9, 2017. Write your public comment below, and United Methodist Women will:

  • Submit the comments to the EPA to show our collective concern and voice.

  • Send a copy to your Congress members so your elected officials know your concerns.

  • Keep you posted on methane and climate justice work.

 


 

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