Courts reject Trump’s EPA from delaying critical methane pollution standard

by Melanie Houston, Director of Oil and Gas

Boom! A major win for children’s health and climate protection came just in time for the fireworks. On Monday, July 3rd, a federal appeals court in Washington DC blocked the Trump Administration’s 90-day suspension of the EPA standards that keep the oil and gas industry’s pollution out of the air our children breathe.

Monday’s order means that oil and gas companies must comply with Clean Air Act standards issued last year to monitor their facilities for leaks of methane and other dangerous pollutants, and to fix the leaks found within 30 days. The court rejected the Trump EPA’s attempt to suspend the June 2, 2017, compliance date. The oil and gas industry will now have to comply with the law.

Americans support federal efforts to limit methane pollution in our air. March 2017 polling by Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions and WPA Research found strong majorities - roughly 3 out of 5 people -- in Colorado, Nevada, Ohio, and Tennessee - want to maintain and improve methane pollution standards. 80,000 comments came from Ohioans supporting the EPA methane standard during its roll out period.

This court ruling comes just weeks after the Senate rejected legislation to repeal BLM regulations that reduce methane pollution from oil and gas operations on public lands and stop the unnecessary waste of a publicly owned resource. 5,000 Ohioans joined a town hall meeting in April to learn more about how to support the BLM methane standards.

EPA head Scott Pruitt has also issued a proposal to postpone compliance with these same vital air pollution limits for the oil and gas industry for two years. In that proposal, Pruitt admitted that his action would threaten children’s health but suggested that this outcome was okay as two years was not too long a time.

Ohioans must continue to raise their concerns about these dangerous, unprecedented rollbacks of our nation’s clean air safeguards. If you agree that it’s time for the Trump administration to put children’s health and the safety of our climate over favors for the big polluters, please share on Twitter and Facebook by clicking the social media below.

On July 10th, there will be a public hearing in DC on EPA’s proposal to postpone compliance with the methane pollution limits for the oil and gas industry for two years. Public comments are due by August 9th. Let the agency know you want these standards to stick by submitting your comment to a-and-r-Docket@epa.gov. Include Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2010-0505 in the subject line of the message and let Scott Pruitt know how the lack of clean air affects your ability to work, live and play in your community. 

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Wednesday, July 5, 2017 - 3:00pm