By: Valencia Bednar, 9-year-old Kids Clean Air Force member
Date: January 10, 2023
About: Environmental Protection Agency Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2021-0317
To: Environmental Protection Agency
Hi, my name is Valencia Bednar. I’m nine years old, and I live in Maryland. I’m here today to talk with you about methane. I’ve learned that EPA is considering rules to reduce methane pollution from oil and gas, and I’ve learned that methane is causing global warming. I want EPA to make sure methane pollution goes down so I can enjoy more days outside without being really hot.
Here are some things I’ve learned about methane pollution.
Methane is responsible for 25% of climate pollution. It’s one of the most potent greenhouse gases, trapping 80 times the heat, in the first decade after its release, compared to carbon dioxide. Its potency speeds up the rate of global warming we are experiencing. And wherever methane is leaked into the air from fracking and drilling and pipelines, other toxins, some of which cause cancer are leaked into the air right alongside it.
My aunt had cancer, and I don’t want it to happen to anyone again.
There's not that much methane in the atmosphere—about 1,800 parts per billion, about as much as two cups of water inside a swimming pool. That’s about 200 times less concentrated in the atmosphere than carbon dioxide, the most abundant and dangerous of the greenhouse gases. But methane’s chemical shape is remarkably effective at trapping heat, which means that adding just a little more methane to the atmosphere can have big impacts on how much, and how quickly, the planet warms.
Warming the planet is a big problem. I want to be able to ski and to play outside in summer—but sometimes winter isn’t cold enough and summer is way too hot. EPA, please make sure that oil and gas production doesn’t ruin our climate. We need you to reduce methane pollution and make sure it comes from bogs, like it always has, not from oil drilling.
Thanks to National Geographic, the BBC, and the Moms Clean Air Force website for the information I’m sharing with you today.