What You Should Know About Methane
In the face of rising methane pollution, cutting methane emissions is essential to combating climate change and building healthier communities.
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What is methane?
Is methane pollution harmful to people?
Does methane play a role in climate change?
Was the massive methane leak in California serious?
What is the oil and gas industry’s role in methane pollution?
Stories From The Frontlines Of Methane Pollution
Imagine a life where daily decisions are dictated by the air quality in your neighborhood. Want to play a baseball game? Check the news to see if it’s a bad air day, and if we’re good to go, let’s not forget an inhaler on our way out the door, just in case. Now imagine a life where air pollution has taken its toll on your family. You’re excited for your grandchild to blow out his birthday candles, only to hold back tears when you see him struggling to breathe.
This is the reality for communities living on the frontlines of methane pollution.
Last November, 35 folks from 12 states told these stories, and many more, to political decision-makers in Washington, D.C.
They had one simple message: oil and gas needs to finally clean up its act. See a snapshot of their stories:
The strictest methane standards in the country are in place in Colorado. Yet, the state is still a hotbed for methane, partly due to the methane that drifts in from other states.
Chaz spoke about concerns his constituents have with oil and gas development continuously moving into their neighborhoods.
While many of his constituents aren’t against oil and gas development per se, they do expect the industry to be held to the highest standards.
Three of Tullai-McGuinness' grandchildren have asthma and are forced to stay inside on poor air quality days.
Tullai-McGuinness presented data showing that 14% of people in Ohio will suffer from asthma at some point in their lifetimes—and that those numbers go up for people living close to fracking operations.
If the EPA’s proposed Methane Pollution Standard is enacted and industry is required to capture methane emissions, there is a side-benefit: a reduction in volatile organic compounds, which are known to aggravate asthma and other respiratory conditions.
Kristi & Kylee Mogen
A mother-daughter team, the Mogens were forced to move after health impacts from oil development in Wyoming overwhelmed their family and their farm.
Kristi and Kylee shared photos of plants on their farm dying as a result of "flaring" (releasing harmful pollution into the air while burning gas) oil wells surrounding their property.
And 14-year-old Kylee told of a nosebleed that took 21 days to stop and subsequent nosebleeds that occurred every couple of days until her family moved.
Our bodies should not be the dumping ground for dirty industries. The technology to dramatically reduce harmful air pollution is available today, and major polluters should be required to use them.
Earthjustice has worked for decades to clean up the oil and gas industry and hold it accountable to the highest standards. In 2012, our litigation led the EPA to create and enforce some air pollution limits on the industry. Now that the EPA has issued safeguards from methane pollution from new and modified sources, strong and complete methane pollution standards for existing sources in the oil and gas sector is the next step in the fight.