This was written by our New Mexico State Coordinator, Ana Rios.
There is just one week left to send a message to EPA in support of its updated rule to cut methane and other harmful pollutants from oil and gas operations across the country.
EPA’s rule is an important step toward addressing the climate crisis and protecting the health and safety of children and families across the country. It will reduce methane pollution from sources covered by the rule by 87% below 2005 levels.
New Mexico, where I live, is the #3 oil-producing state in the country. In the San Juan and Permian Basins, you can find methane leaking along with toxic pollutants. This air pollution is harming the health of millions of people living near and far away by increasing the risk of certain forms of cancer, of preterm birth and low birth weight, of central nervous system toxicity, and of respiratory harm, such as exacerbated asthma.
As a mother and a Latina, I am especially worried about how this pollution could affect my children’s health and future. Latino children in the US are twice as likely as non-Latino white people to die from asthma attacks—in part because of the disproportionate pollution burden Latino communities experience from industrial sources like oil and gas operations.
New Mexico has one of the strongest state methane rules in the country, but it is not enough. Our neighboring states also have oil and gas operations, and we all share the air. Air pollution can travel long distances in the wind. We need strong federal methane regulations to ensure and protect public health.
So join me in calling on EPA to finalize a comprehensive methane rule—to protect the health of all families and communities across the country.