By: Stephanie Klein, Washington DC 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
Thank you for the opportunity to offer my comments today. My name is Stephanie Klein, and I live in Washington, DC. I am a field organizer for the DC area with Moms Clean Air Force. I am the mother of two little girls ages four and seven. I am an environmental scientist by training and a former career employee of this agency, having worked under Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama. As such, I understand firsthand the immense importance of the opportunity that lies before EPA today.
Through its rulemaking process, this agency has the chance to significantly slow the impacts of climate change and ensure that our children and grandchildren inherit a stable planet. I encourage EPA to cut methane pollution from the oil and gas industries by 65% by 2025 (over 2012 levels).
You have already heard from many of my colleagues over the past three days. The reason so many moms have turned out to speak at this listening session is because more than anything, we care about our children’s well-being, and we will fight for what’s best for them. And what is best for our kids is most certainly a planet where they can live out their lives absent the disastrous impacts of climate change. That means a planet with clean air and a stable climate.
Everyone has a right to breathe clean air. But in many parts of the country, that is just not a reality. Here in Washington, DC, for example, one in 10 kids suffers from asthma, which is exacerbated by ground-level ozone pollution. And in some parts of the city, particularly our low-wealth communities and communities of color, the childhood asthma rate is as high as one in three.
Ground-level ozone is worst on the hottest days. And as the climate is changing and the earth is warming, we are starting to see more and more record-breaking heat waves.
Washington, DC, is also experiencing record-breaking floods caused by rising sea levels and heavy rain events as a result of climate change. In fact, communities along the Potomac River have been building flood walls to address the more frequent and severe flooding that is occurring on a now-regular basis. Our famous cherry blossoms are even blooming earlier as the planet warms.
Methane is a highly potent greenhouse gas that warms the planet 86 times more than carbon dioxide and is responsible for 25% of the man-made global warming we are experiencing today. This agency has the opportunity to do something about the methane that comes from the oil and gas industry, and I urge you to take it.
Please take the advice of all the moms you have heard from over the past three days and cut methane pollution from the oil and gas industries by 65% by 2025. Thank you.