By: Rosemarie Anderson, Colorado Kids Clean Air Force member
Date: January 11, 2023
About: Environmental Protection Agency Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2021-0317
To: Environmental Protection Agency
Hi! My name is Rosemarie Anderson, and I am a volunteer with Moms Clean Air Force. I live in Broomfield, Colorado. Thank you for this opportunity to testify.
I’m a junior in high school and aspire to one day be a choreographer. Although I am focused on my studies and dance right now, I must also concern myself with the climate and air quality issues facing our world today. A livable climate and clean air is essential to life, and must be our highest priority since our future is absolutely dependent on this.
I support EPA’s updated rule to cut methane and other harmful pollutants from oil and gas operations across the country. This is an important step toward addressing the climate crisis and protecting the health and safety of families across the country now, and for our future generations.
Colorado is facing a dual crisis as we contend with climate and air quality issues. Wildfires have only intensified and grown more dangerous like the Marshall fire that occurred in the dead of winter and spread quickly across tinder dry ground not far from my community. We are facing ongoing drought and reduced snowpack that impacts our water supply.
I live along Colorado’s Front Range, where large-scale oil and gas development has encroached on our communities, and where we are facing high levels of ozone pollution, which is unhealthy for our lungs. On these unhealthy days, our state authorities advise staying inside because of the effects on respiratory and cardio systems. This is a warning that we must take seriously, and we need to take immediate action to reduce pollution sources.
We are taught in high school science class to base our decisions on data and scientific facts. We know from current studies that older low producing wells that are also referred to as “small wells” are responsible for about 50% of methane pollution, yet only amount to about 6% of our nation’s oil and gas production. Communities like mine live with these polluting wells, and I am concerned about the families living closest to them. We must follow the science and routinely inspect all small wells to protect public health and safety.
Maya Angelou once said, “When you know better, you do better,” and this is true. We do know better, so we must do better.
We know that flaring methane gas is a wasteful practice. It not only reduces the amount of natural gas that will be available for our future use, but it is also fueling our climate crisis since methane, the main ingredient in natural gas, is a powerful greenhouse gas. Flaring also emits air pollutants that impact the health of nearby communities. EPA needs to eliminate pollution from routine flaring at oil and gas sites in the final rule.
“When you know better, you do better.”
Colorado is now taking a leading role in reducing climate pollution from oil and gas operations, and we can be a model for the nation. Since air knows no boundary, having strong national regulations will help lower background ozone in my community, as well as improve the air quality in states that are not taking such leadership. These national regulations will improve the air we all breathe.
We are counting on our nation’s leaders who are implementing the changes now that will direct our path forward. My generation will be continuing this work, so we need you to act swiftly and boldly to set us on the path toward successfully controlling climate pollution now and for the future.
Thank you for the opportunity to testify, and for your dedication to protecting our future.