In response to the US Environmental Protection Agency’s announcement of New and Existing Source Methane Pollution Standards for the Oil and Gas Industry, leaders from Western states responded:

“We applaud EPA’s commitment to tackle the easily preventable and highly dangerous methane pollution from the oil and gas industry,” said Barbara Vasquez, a leader with the Western Organization of Resource Councils from Cowdrey, Colorado. “The health of those of us who live near production, and all who are being impacted by the climate crisis, depend on strong, enforceable rules enacted as soon as possible.”

“Updating these rules is long-overdue, and we’re glad to see oil and gas air pollution being taken seriously by the agency,” said Wayne Lax, a Powder River Basin Resource Council Board member from Cheyenne, Wyoming. “These rules are reasonable steps to protect the public health of people living and working near oil and gas wells and associated infrastructure. This is especially key with limiting the amount of methane companies are allowed to flare and vent, which has significant air quality, and subsequently health, impacts on people who live near oil and gas development.”

“Climate change is already beginning to devastate the United States, including here in Colorado where we have experienced the three largest wildfires in our state’s history within the last two years,” said Leslie Robinson, a Western Colorado Alliance member from Rifle, Colorado. “The EPA’s new methane rules show great promise in cutting back on the emissions driving this existential threat to our home, and we look forward to continuing to work toward robust rules that will protect our way of life.”

“I am pleased to see the EPA release a new rule aimed at curbing harmful methane emissions from the oil and gas industry,” said Lisa DeVille, a founder of Fort Berthold POWER (an affiliate of Dakota Resource Council), from Mandaree, ND. “The people of my tribe, The Three Affiliated Tribes, have lived on and cared for our land for millennia. We hold all of Mother Earth sacred, including the air. Since the start of the Bakken oil boom, the oil and gas industry has polluted our air and harmed our health by flaring and venting methane from wells and pipelines. It is time for the US Government, and the EPA, to look out for the health and well-being of the Indigenous communities like mine, and the health of Mother Earth, by finalizing a strong rule curbing harmful methane emissions.”

“Having personally experienced some of the effects of climate change this past summer, I am hopeful the new EPA methane rules will be a big step forward in controlling the release of methane into the atmosphere,” said Sue Beug, a leader with Northern Plains Resource Council in Red Lodge, Montana. “Keeping additional methane from entering the atmosphere is the fastest way to mitigate the effects of climate change and the new EPA methane rules are an important tool for doing that.”

For more information on why methane regulations are being prioritized by the Administration, see the recent media tip sheet from the Western Organization of Resource Councils.