By: Sarah McBride, Program Coordinator, Media & Public Engagement, Moms Clean Air Force
Date: January 11, 2023
About: Environmental Protection Agency Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2021-0317
To: Environmental Protection Agency
Thank you for this opportunity to testify. My name is Sarah McBride, and I am the program coordinator for media and public engagement with Moms Clean Air Force. I live in Falmouth, Massachusetts, and I am testifying today in support of EPA’s updated rule to cut methane and other harmful pollutants from the oil and gas industry. Methane pollution fuels the climate crisis, jeopardizing our health and our future, so I urge EPA to finalize the strongest and most comprehensive methane pollution standards.
With more than 80 times the warming power of carbon dioxide over the first 20 years after it reaches the atmosphere, methane is a potent greenhouse gas. Methane pollution from human action is responsible for 25% of the global warming we are experiencing today.
Between the threat of extreme heat and supercharged storms, there are a lot of reasons that climate change keeps me up at night. But here on Cape Cod, sea level rise is among the most significant climate-driven threats to my community.
Falmouth is a coastal town that sits 10 feet above sea level. As the sea level rises, high tides get higher and storm surges can become more dangerous. The president of the Woodwell Climate Research Center said that he thinks parts of our famous coastline may be “indefensible.”
And flooding doesn’t just destroy property and iconic coastlines—it puts people and families at risk. Floods pose a physical danger to those in their path, lead to water-borne illness by contaminating drinking water, and increase the risk of respiratory disease due to mold. Research shows that flooding events have a significant negative impact on the health of children and pregnant women. Experiencing a climate-related crisis, or even just living with the threat of one, can lead to stress, trauma, and anxiety.
Climate change-induced sea level rise also threatens Boston, Massachusetts—a second place I’ve called home. The City of Boston’s “Climate Ready” flood mapping projection tool points to a daunting future, and a recent study found that projected sea level rise puts hospitals in the Boston area at high risk of flooding during a storm, potentially endangering patients and making health care during a crisis less accessible.
If we act now to tackle climate change—the underlying driver of sea level rise—we can avoid worst-case scenarios, and pave the way to a safer, healthier future for ourselves and generations to come. Cutting methane as significantly and quickly as possible is a critical part of the solution, which is why I am testifying in support of the proposed methane rule and to urge EPA to finalize the strongest, most comprehensive standards.
Thank you for this opportunity to testify.