Natural gas tanks in oil refinery against clear sky (Getty Images).
By Ellie Kerns
Where I grew up in Chester County, there are more than 600 miles of natural gas pipelines transporting dangerous methane past our houses, parks, and schools.
Studies show that pipelines and other natural gas facilities release vast quantities of methane emissions that are dangerous both to human health and our climate.
Methane is a harmful global warming pollutant that is about 86 times more potent than carbon dioxide over a 20-year timeframe. It’s estimated that oil and gas operations in Pennsylvania emit global warming pollution equal to more than 5 million cars.
These emissions are fueling the climate crisis and harming our health at the same time.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed new protections that will cut these harmful methane emissions from the oil and gas industry.
This rule is a great step forward, but it can (and must) be stronger. Specifically, EPA’s proposal can be strengthened by eliminating pollution from the practice of routine venting and flaring, the release of unignited or ignited gas, which emits vast amounts of dangerous methane into our air.
The EPA’s new proposed protections could help us tackle climate change, protect our health, and build a safer and stronger commonwealth.
Pennsylvanians can make their voices heard by submitting a public comment to the EPA through February 13, 2023 at bit.ly/PAEmethane.
Ellie Kerns is the Climate and Clean Energy Associate with PennEnvironment, a state-wide environmental advocacy nonprofit. She writes from Philadelphia. Readers may email her at [email protected].
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