I’m Nick Haas, the Colorado organizer for Defend Our Future. On June 15th, I joined representatives from other organizations as well as individuals from frontline communities from across the country to urge the Environmental protection Agency to move forward with strong protections on methane pollution. Methane is a harmful climate pollutant that is responsible for around a quarter of the warming we’re experiencing now. Listening sessions like the ones the EPA hosted over the course of three days are important because it allows the public access to representatives from our government. These officials are taking input from various stakeholders across the country who also represent millions of people who are feeling the impacts of the climate crisis right now.
I used my five minutes to highlight the historical pollution problems that Colorado – and specifically north Denver – has been experiencing since early industrialization. The major impacts that these polluters have are on low income people, primarily people of color that live in these north Denver neighborhoods. By strengthening standards on harmful pollution, the people in these neighborhoods might finally be able to have access to clean drinking water and clean air that has not been afforded to them. Now, we wait. Following the listening sessions, the EPA is expected to propose a rule for the public to weigh in on. This is where YOU come in. You’ll have the opportunity (later this year) to participate in the public comment period, to let the EPA know that you’re demanding action from federal decision makers. I hope to hear good news on the protection of communities at the forefront of the climate crisis, as we see again the intersectionality between racial and climate justice.