By: Elizabeth Hauptman, Michigan Field Organizer, Moms Clean Air Force
Date: June 17, 2021
About: Environmental Protection Agency Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2021-0295
To: Environmental Protection Agency
I’m Elizabeth Hauptman, I live in Brighton with my family, and I’m the field organizer with Moms Clean Air Force Michigan. We have 30,000 members here in Michigan and over a million nationally fighting for clean air and climate for the sake of our children’s health.
The EPA needs to cut oil and gas pollution by 65% by 2025. The oil and gas industry is one of the largest sources of industrial methane pollution. Methane, which is the primary ingredient in natural gas, is a powerful greenhouse gas that is contributing to the climate crisis.
Michiganders are experiencing climate change today with more flooding, coastal erosion, warming of the Great Lakes, and extreme weather. Climate change is causing our lakes to warm faster than our oceans and impacting the fish populations. These changes effect commerce and recreation for all Michiganders. In addition, Michigan summers are getting longer and hotter. Including this last week's unprecedented heat wave in the Midwest, where temperatures were hotter than states much farther south, like Texas.
These hotter temperatures can cause increase in ground-level ozone pollution, or smog. Smog is a lung irritant that triggers asthma attacks. My son Oscar has asthma, so I understand how vital clean air is for life. He is one of 166,000 children in Michigan who suffer from asthma. Michigan has some of the worst asthma rates in the country, according to the American Lung Association. In the summertime, parents like me need to check our weather apps to see if it’s safe for our children to play outside. We have far too often rushed home after a soccer game on a hot summer day to use his nebulizer.
Children are more impacted by air pollution for many reasons. They breathe more rapidly than adults, spend more time outdoors, and are more physically active than adults, thus exposing their still-developing lungs to more air pollution. That’s why I depend on the EPA to do their job and protect children from air pollution and climate change. Moms and dads want climate action, and we want the EPA to make protective regulations that would limit potent greenhouse gas emissions from oil and gas operations. We need methane pollution cut 65% by 2025 to help clean up our air, protect children’s heath, and stabilize our climate. Thank you.