September 11, 2018

WASHINGTON, D.C. (September 11, 2018) Today, Defend Our Future, a national grassroots organization empowering young people to take action on climate change, released the following statement in response to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s decision to roll back safeguards cutting methane emissions from oil and gas sites:

“Environmental Protection Agency Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler’s efforts to weaken these commonsense, cost-effective oil and gas pollution standards will increase pollution, hurt the communities where this development exists, and ignores the EPA’s responsibility to protect American families. The agency itself estimates that the rollback will lead to an increase of 380,000 tons of methane, 100,000 tons of volatile organic compounds and 3,800 tons of hazardous air pollutants. The Trump administration’s overall actions fit a pattern of putting corporate polluter profits ahead of people, and represents the first step in its plan to eliminate a methane rule that even industry says it can live with.

“Regularly looking for and repairing leaks is not only the right thing to do, it is the only way to protect the air we breathe. Instead of keeping these critical pollution safeguards – which have been working for almost a year – in place, Acting Administrator Wheeler’s reckless decision is now putting polluters ahead of the health and well-being of Americans, including young people and our most vulnerable citizens, across the country.

“Instead of creating loopholes for the worst actors in the oil and gas industry and giving them the green light to continue polluting the air we breathe, Acting Administrator Wheeler should do his job and protect our communities by keeping in place and fully implementing standards that would reduce harmful pollution from new and modified oil and gas sites.”