Hundreds of Thousands Speak Out Against Rollback of Methane Protections

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Contact: Camilla Feibelman, camilla.feibelman@sierraclub.org, 505.715.8388

Hundreds of Thousands Speak Out Against Wheeler’s Rollback of Methane Protections
EPA Seeks to Gut Critical Safeguards Limiting Air Pollution, New Mexicans Object

Washington, DC — The public comment period closed last night at midnight on EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler’s proposal to gut key safeguards limiting methane pollution from new oil and gas operations.

Methane is a greenhouse gas that is 87 times more potent than carbon dioxide during the time it remains in the atmosphere. As the agency itself has acknowledged, methane and other pollutants limited by these safeguards pose a major threat to public health, particularly to children.

At EPA’s only public hearing on the proposed rollback held in Denver last month, the overwhelming majority of speakers testified in favor of the existing protections. As of last night, opponents of rolling back these commonsense protections had submitted nearly 400,000 comments urging EPA to keep them in place.

Thousands of New Mexicans commented against the rule rollbacks, include over 50 New Mexico Elected Leaders who signed on to a letter from local elected leaders throughout the country.

In response, Sierra Club -Rio Grande Chapter Director, Camilla Feibelman, issued the following statement:

“Thousands of new wells are operating in our state, spewing methane and impacting health.  New Mexicans have stood up again and again in favor of protections for our land and communities.  That’s why despite being asked to comment again and again, thousands of New Mexicans have continued to send a strong message that they want EPA to protect our health and our climate. Instead, Andrew Wheeler has made it clear that he’s only interested in giving handouts to corporate polluters, no matter the cost.”

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Hundreds of Thousands Speak Out Against Rollback of Methane Protections
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