By: Jennifer Cantley, Nevada field organizer, Moms Clean Air Force
Date: December 1, 2021
About: Environmental Protection Agency Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2021-0317
To: Environmental Protection Agency
Thank you for the opportunity to testify. My name is Jennifer Cantley, and I am an organizer with Moms Clean Air Force in Nevada. I live in the capital of Nevada, Carson City, right below the beautiful Lake Tahoe.
I support the proposed EPA methane rules and urge the EPA to finalize the strongest and most comprehensive rules to protect children’s health from all sources of oil and gas methane pollution, including small wells and routine flaring.
I was born in Lake Tahoe, and this summer, I watched, with tears in my eyes and fear in my heart, a fire tear through the wood so fast that I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. I heard news reports that a fire had burned though 75,000 acres of forest in one night and over Donner Pass, a summit that is 7,057 feet above sea level. I knew we were talking about climate change.
My firefighter friends who have been fighting fires for years said they had never seen anything like it. A fire that wouldn’t burn out at the top of a summit that is primarily granite and at 30 degree temperatures? It may have not made sense to them, but it sure did to me. Now I don’t claim to be a scientist, but I know that with all the rollbacks our country has done just in air quality alone, this was because of climate change.
When we know facts—like methane is responsible for 25% of the man-made global warming we are experiencing today, or methane is a highly potent greenhouse gas that warms the planet 86 times more than carbon pollution over 20 years, or methane pollution from the oil and gas industry is fueling the climate crisis and endangering the health and safety of communities across the country—it makes me worry for my three young boys' future everyday, 2 of whom have asthma. Asthma that has now become severe asthma because of the coronavirus. The same virus that has now given me and many more in this country mild COPD. No other virus has ever given patients COPD before, which means Covid long haulers, like myself—now estimated to be 1 out of 3 patients who come down with the virus, which means about 90 million US citizens—are now added on top of our list of patients we all need to think of when making decision like this.
This is why I support the proposed EPA methane rules and urge you to finalize the strongest and most comprehensive methane rules to protect children’s health from all sources of oil and gas methane pollution, including small wells and routine flaring. I don’t want any more threats of fire on the land I have learned to call home, or to be scared of the air my children and I need to breathe to be in good health. You are the Environmental Protection Agency, and families like mine are depending on you to do what it precisely says in your name: protect. Thank you.