Fellows in the News

Dozens of people who live near oil and gas wells pleaded with the Trump administration Wednesday [Nov 14 2018] not to roll back rules for methane pollution, while industry representatives said the changes should go further.

The Environmental Protection Agency held a hearing in Denver on the administration’s plans to loosen regulations imposed by the Obama administration in 2016. The rules require energy companies to step up the detection and elimination of methane leaks at well sites and other oil and gas facilities.

Methane is the primary component of natural gas and also is a greenhouse gas.

Opponents argued Wednesday that changing the rules would threaten people’s health, worsen climate change and squander natural gas by allowing leaks to go undetected. They also argued it would cost taxpayers, investors and mineral owners money from the lost sale of the gas.

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Sarah Smith of the Clean Air Task Force said health problems are not just a possibility but a certainty if the rules are relaxed. She also argued that the agency has the ability to calculate the impacts.

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