Three days ago, the one and only hearing was held on the Trump Administration’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) plan to gut critical protections against methane pollution. Even though this one hearing was schedeuled in Dallas, TX — the heart of the oil and gas industry — the public comments were nearly universally opposed to the rollback. Now we need to make it clear that people of faith and conscience all over the country support strong and effective methane pollution safeguards.
The Trump administration is trying to roll back the EPA’s methane pollution standards. These standards were designed to limit the release of methane pollution, a potent greenhouse gas, from the oil and gas industry. According to recent research, U.S. oil and gas operations emit at least 13 million metric tons of methane annually, which has the same climate impact as operating nearly 300 coal-burning power plants for a year.
Methane is also hazardous to our health. Methane and other air pollutants from oil and gas development contribute to ground-level ozone pollution and cause a number of serious health complications including respiratory damage, cancer, birth defects, and nervous system damage. People of faith share a sacred calling to care for others, especially the most vulnerable people in our communities.
Our work is ultimately about love — love for the sacred, for one another, and for the creatures and our common home. Methane pollution causes deep and irreparable harm to the earth and inflicts suffering upon others. As people of faith, we are called care for those who suffer and to protect our planet against the devastating effects of climate change.
Join me in making your voice heard. Please speak up and ask EPA to protect our communities from harmful methane pollution.
Rev. Susan Hendershot