Contact: Tracy Sabetta, 614.581.2907, firstname.lastname@example.org
Columbus, OH – Today, the Trump Administration is poised to announce a major rollback of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) methane rule that protects families and communities from harmful air pollution. The rollback would allow the oil and gas industry to release millions of tons of methane, a potent greenhouse gas, and other harmful pollutants, such as volatile organic compounds (VOCs), into the air our families breathe, posing a serious threat to public health and making the climate crisis worse. Today’s rollback flouts EPA’s core mission to protect public health and the environment.
“Oil and gas operations are leaking, venting, and flaring dangerous methane air pollution at alarming rates, putting the health of 3.2 million Ohioans who live within a half mile of oil and gas facilities at risk. Air pollution from the oil and gas industry can cause respiratory diseases and worsen asthma, which the CDC states can put people at a higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19. Clean air protections are needed now more than ever to safeguard public health and the climate,” said Tracy Sabetta, Columbus area resident, mom, and Ohio Field Organizer for Moms Clean Air Force.
“Climate change is degrading Ohio’s air quality and fueling extreme weather, which is impacting the agriculture industry. In addition, families across Ohio are experiencing more dangerous storms, droughts, extreme heat days, and increases in vector-borne diseases such as Lyme disease. We are experiencing a trend of warmer temperatures at night where the low never drops below 80 degrees. This leads to huge increases in electric bills, more climate pollution, and harm to our most vulnerable populations.
“The EPA needs to learn from the mayors of cities around Ohio who are stepping up to invest in clean energy to protect their communities. As we face a public health and climate crisis, the EPA should be working overtime to fulfill its mission to protect health and the environment instead of eliminating vital methane pollution protections.”
Oil and gas operations across the U.S. release over 13 million metric tons of climate-warming methane a year. This pollution accounts for 25 percent of the global warming we are experiencing today. Methane is a potent greenhouse gas more than 80 times more powerful than carbon dioxide in the near term.