NEWS RELEASE Contact: Susan Stephenson
September 11, 2018 (415) 561-4891; (510) 484-7198
Faith leaders condemn EPA Proposal to Roll back Methane Pollution Standards
Today, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler proposed to weaken methane pollution standards for the oil and gas industry. These commonsense safeguards were designed to limit the release of methane pollution, a potent greenhouse gas, from oil and gas infrastructure, and also to help protect communities from other dangerous pollutants released alongside methane. Methane is leaked into the air (often wasting millions of dollars) when gas is vented and flared, and also in transport.
Rev. Susan Hendershot, President of Interfaith Power & Light, stated: “All faith traditions share a sacred calling to care for the earth and to care for those who are most vulnerable in our communities. Methane pollution causes deep and irreparable harm to God’s good Creation, polluting not only the land and the air, but also jeopardizing the health of children and those living in frontline communities. Any proposals to weaken or do away with safeguards against methane pollution are unethical and immoral.”
Methane is a significant driver of climate change, and a rollback of these critical health protections would put our families’ health at risk. This rollback marks the beginning of a two-part scheme by Wheeler and the Trump Administration to dramatically weaken standards to control dangerous pollution.
Sister Joan Brown, Executive Director New Mexico Interfaith Power & Light, said: “People of faith made thousands of comments in support of strong EPA methane standards through a long public process. Methane pollution is hurting our children in New Mexico and stealing over $250 million annually from our state budget that funds education. The droughts and fires we experienced this summer are related to methane which is a cause of climate change. This is a grave moral and ethical concern. People of faith in New Mexico will continue to work for the Common Good and our sacred creation.”
Interfaith Power & Light is mobilizing a religious response to global warming in congregations through the promotion of energy conservation, energy efficiency, and renewable energy.