Yesterday, the Obama administration came out with its plans to regulate methane from oil and gas wells. These rules will be the first of their kind, and underscore two of the most important problems with fracking-enabled oil and gas production -- its impact on the climate and its impact on human health.
Oil and gas operations across the country are a major source of air pollution of all types. Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), coupled with nitric oxide and nitrogen dioxide (together known as NOx) and sunlight, produce ozone, which is hazardous to human health and can cause premature death. Exposure to hydrogen sulfide gas, found in many shale oil and gas formations, can cause difficulty in breathing and eye and throat irritation. High levels of exposure can be fatal.
Last month, I traveled to New York City to join the People’s Climate March. Over 400,000 people came from across the country to tell President Obama that the time to act on climate is now, because we don’t have time to spare. We are already feeling the effects of climate change across the globe.
Yesterday, the Obama administration announced the first-ever limits on carbon pollution from existing U.S. power plants. This groundbreaking regulation is an important first step towards addressing the largest source of climate-warming pollutants, and a small step on the way towards an energy future based largely on renewable energy.
The rule allows each state to choose from a broad menu of carbon-cutting options, including energy efficiency improvements, clean energy sources, implementing a carbon tax, or instituting or joining a cap-and-trade system. Overall, the new rule will cut carbon pollution from power plants by 25% by 2020, and 30% by 2030, using 2005 emissions levels as a starting point.
This weekend, Earthworks Eastern Program Coordinator, Nadia, and I attended Power Shift, a gathering of thousands of students and young people dedicated to fighting dirty energy and promoting a just transition to a clean energy future.
Over 6,000 people gathered in Pittsburgh, PA for 3 days of inspiration and education, followed by a march through the streets calling for an end to our dependence on fossil fuels. Fracking was a huge part of the discussion at Power Shift this weekend, with many impacted community members profiled as part of panel discussions and events.
Americans have spoken, and they want the Obama administration to work for the people, not the oil and gas industry.
Today, over 1 million public comments are being delivered to the Bureau of Land Management – the agency that oversees 750 million acres of public lands and minerals. The BLM has been hard at work writing new rules to govern fracking underneath Tribal lands, National Forests, Wildlife Refuges and other special places, beneath more than 50 million acres of privately-owned land, and the drinking water sources for millions of Americans.
Today, Congressmen Markey, Grijalva and Holt introduced important legislation to reform our least favorite outdated law, the 1872 Mining Law.
With just 37 states in our Union at the time, this law was passed to settle the West. Before women had the right to vote, President Ulysses S. Grant signed a law that give miners unprecedented access to our public lands. And that law is still on the books today.
Join Earthworks and Representative Grijalva (D-AZ) for the D.C. premiere of Cyanide Beach, a short documentary film that exposes the speculators behind the proposed Rosemont copper mine - a poster child for reforming the 1872 Mining Law.
What does a small town in Sardinia, Italy have in common with the pitched battle over the proposed Rosemont copper mine in the scenic Santa Rita Mountains south of Tucson, Arizona?
Thanks so much to everyone that joined us in Dallas this past weekend!
We had a great two days at the Frack Attack National Summit with over 250 people in attendance. The Best Western in Dallas was packed with fracktivists who built skills to be more effective spokespeople and truly hold the oil and gas industry accountable.