Almost half a million Americans registered overwhelming opposition, as public comment periods closed late yesterday on two Trump administration proposals to tear down clean air and taxpayer protection measures.
Under a Bureau of Land Management proposal, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke would gut requirements that oil and gas companies operating on federal and tribal lands put basic, cost-effective practices in place to reduce waste of public and tribally-owned natural gas resources through unnecessary leaks, venting and flaring. This move would mean approximately $1 billion more in wasted energy resources, less revenue for federal taxpayers and Western communities, and more smog-forming pollution.
At the same time, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt is proposing to rescind guidelines that establish flexible, state-based approaches to reduce harmful oil and gas air pollution in some of the nation’s most polluted areas.
“The remarkable cross-section of citizen groups, local leaders, and members of Congress speaking out against these proposals further underscores just how far outside the mainstream this administration is,” said Matt Watson, Associate Vice President of Energy, EDF. “These proposals will hurt everyday Americans through increased waste of natural gas and more air pollution. Ironically, they will also harm the reputation of oil and gas companies that are trying to do the right thing and tackle the methane emissions problem. It’s time for leaders in industry to step forward and say enough is enough.”
A wide and diverse group of stakeholders has strongly urged the Trump administration to reconsider these misguided giveaways to the least-responsible actors in the oil and gas industry.
Voices against these rollbacks include Western leaders, a bicameral group of over 100 Members of Congress, local elected officials, Latino Leaders, faith leaders, environmental and conservation groups, and others speaking out against Secretary Zinke’s effort to gut BLM’s Methane Waste Rule. Recent polling has also found three out of four Americans support the BLM methane rules, including 77 percent in Zinke’s home state of Montana.
In addition, over 50 organizations have signed a letter to Administrator Pruitt asking him to reconsider his proposal to roll back the Control Technique Guidelines, a move that will hurt over 25 million Americans living in areas with oil and gas drilling that do not meet national health-based standards for ozone.
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