Target: Regina McCarthy, Administrator of the EPA
Goal: Applaud new rules regulating methane emissions from new and renovated oil and gas facilities.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced new rules aimed at reducing the amount of methane released by oil and gas facilities. These new regulations are part of plans to reduce oil and gas industry-related methane emissions by 40-45 percent by 2025, and are a result of campaigns, protests, and petitions such as these at ForceChange.
While methane emissions are much lower than carbon dioxide emissions, the former has a much higher potential for global warming than the latter. Methane traps 100 times more heat in the atmosphere. However, because it dissipates much faster than carbon dioxide, cutting methane emissions immediately is currently the best bet for achieving the rapid cooling that the earth needs in order to avoid environmental disaster.
The announced rules compliment a collaborative effort between Canada and the U.S. announced earlier this year that aims to reduce methane emissions from existing wells. While the move to regulate methane emissions is a step in the right direction, scientists estimate that 80-85 percent of proven fossil fuel resources must remain in the ground in order to avert catastrophic climate change. Furthermore, the total of currently planned legislation will leave 75 percent of all oil and gas industry equipment unregulated. Sign our petition to congratulate Regina McCarthy, the head of the EPA, on the regulation of new and renovated oil and gas installations in the U.S. and urge her to continue to keep working to lower emissions.
Dear Administrator McCarthy,
I am writing to congratulate you on recently announced plans to regulate methane emissions from new and renovated oil and gas installations. Considering recent methane leaks associated with the fracking industry, these rules will protect millions of Americans from compromised air quality. Furthermore, these regulations are an important step forward in global attempts to avert catastrophic climate change.
However, more still needs to be done to keep warming below two degrees, and to fulfill America’s commitment under the 2015 Paris Agreement. Over 75 percent of oil and gas installations are not covered by regulations. In order to keep warming under 1.5 degrees, climate scientists estimate 80-85 percent of proven fossil fuel resources must remain in the ground. I urge you to do everything in your power to ensure the implementation of effective and aggressive regulation of emissions.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Simon Fraser University