Letter: Time for Zinke to listen
About one year ago, the Republican-controlled U.S. Senate voted to uphold common-sense standards that reduce methane waste, which not only protect public health but provide much needed local revenue to western communities.
Now, a year later, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke and the whole Trump administration are still disregarding the public’s will and are continuing to try and sell off rural America’s public health and economic potential to special interests by gutting the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) methane waste rule.
The popular pollution limits reduce the amount of methane, the main component of natural gas, leaking and intentionally released and burned off from oil and gas operations on public lands owned by American taxpayers. Besides the methane component being a green house gas that is 86 times worse than CO2, wasted natural gas also contains amounts of benzene and ethylbenzene, known carcinogens, and the burning creates the components that react in sunlight to form ground level ozone Stopping that waste makes sense from a public health standpoint, but an economic one too.
The reality is that BLM’s Methane and Waste Prevention rule benefits the American people’s health and provides urgently needed funding for infrastructure and schools and more. Without this rule, oil and gas companies will continue wasting $330 million worth (and growing) of taxpayer-owned natural gas each year.
Over 400,000 American taxpayers from Colorado and across the nation have made their voices heard and strongly oppose Zinke and Trump’s attacks on these common-sense standards. It is time for them to listen.