Dear peter,

Great news! The Environmental Protection Agency has proposed rules to cut methane and other harmful air pollutants from new and existing oil and gas operations. This important step forward will help protect the health of our children from the impacts of air pollution and climate change. Now it’s up to us to make sure these rules are as strong as possible.

In the U.S., 2.9 million children go to school a half mile from active oil and gas wells, putting their health at risk. This includes my own children. My two boys attend school only a half mile from fracked methane gas wells in southwestern Pennsylvania.

Oil and gas wells emit climate warming methane and other harmful pollution that can trigger asthma attacks and cause respiratory problems. I’m deeply concerned about what my children are breathing into their lungs every day I send them to school.

That’s why I am thankful that the EPA has proposed rules to address the health and climate impacts by limiting methane and other harmful pollutants from new and existing oil and gas operations.

But, peter, this is only the first step—a significant one, but far from the end… There are other very significant sources of methane emissions from oil and gas operations that are NOT covered by this new rule—things like what the industry calls “marginal wells,” for instance, that are far from marginal in their huge contribution to climate pollution. We need EPA to regulate those, too.

Children across the country—including my own—need strong and comprehensive EPA methane rules that cover all sources of oil and gas operations including smaller, leak-prone wells. Cutting methane pollution is one of the strongest levers we have to slow climate change, and it also improves air quality to protect our children’s health.

In the US, more than 9 million people live within a half mile of oil and gas operations. The frontline communities located closest to oil and gas operations are impacted the most — but this is a problem that affects all of us, because pollution can travel long distances across state borders

For our children,

Patrice Tomcik
National Field Manager, Moms Clean Air Force