The Readers Say: Support Reasonable Standards on Methane

Support Reasonable

Standards on Methane

Editor, News-Register:

Despite overwhelming public support for protections limiting methane waste from the oil and gas industry, the Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is working to gut the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) methane waste rule. April 23 marked the close of the BLM’s most recent comment period on a proposal to significantly weaken this common sense rule. Across the country, over 400,000 comments were submitted to BLM opposing the rollback.

Weakening this standard will result in the waste of tens of millions of taxpayer dollars. The proposed changes also will leave American and West Virginia families with less funding for our schools and communities, more wasted energy, and more smog pollution threatening the health of our children and seniors.

The problem with methane pollution is that it is a major contributor to the formation of smog, which is harmful to human health. While cost-effective technology already exists to tackle the methane problem, most oil and gas operators aren’t voluntarily changing their ways. Mandatory measures are needed to drive innovation and to level the playing field for all operators in the industry.

Americans deserve protection from the health problems associated with methane and other air pollution from oil and gas facilities. Capturing methane also makes good business sense since methane is the primary component of natural gas.

The State of Colorado adopted methane standards with support from some of the state’s oil and gas sector for years before the federal government proposed standards and both oil and natural gas production and the number of producing wells have continued to increase.

Sec. Zinke’s attacks on this critical methane standard are unwarranted and should be troubling to every American. If Secretary Zinke’s revised standard is finalized, taxpayers and communities will pay a heavy price.

Your voice matters. You can reach out to your U.S. senators today and let them know that you want the BLM to do its job to protect our public lands and residents from methane pollution. Tell them you support these common sense methane standards.

Melanie Houston

Columbus

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