Rollback on methane emissions is a danger to community health. It was just announced that the Environmental Protection Agency has released a replacement proposal for the former rules on methane emission regulation.
The new proposal would loosen regulations of methane emissions and leaks at the federal level and allow the regulation levels to be determined state by state, with most states having far lower standards than Colorado’s.
The financial benefits of removing regulations would be felt only by the oil and gas industry. Whereas, I see the burden being borne almost entirely by the communities exposed to emissions.
The unregulated methane leaks will further decrease air and water quality, and subsequently the health of individuals in the community. The dangers to the physical health of the community will especially be felt by children and elderly, possibly in the form of cancers and asthma.
I believe this is avoidable if we maintain the federal regulations already in place. It is not enough that Colorado has high state regulation standards because pollution is not going to stop at the state line.
Recent news coverage has presented this issue as a Trump administration versus Obama administration dichotomy, but I think it is so much more than a partisan issue. Methane emissions do not benefit anyone, they waste possible profit for companies and pose a real danger to the health of our communities. Regulating emissions helps everyone in the long run. The EPA will have a 60-day comment period on the issue, and I invite my fellow Four Corners citizens to express your opinions when that opens.