Letter: Support methane rules
I am writing to commend the Bureau of Land Management for finalizing its long-awaited rules to reduce methane and other pollutants from oil and gas development on public lands. By acting to reduce venting, flaring and leaks from both current and future projects, BLM is setting an important precedent for strong action on all sources of oil and gas waste and pollution and helping create a level playing field for energy development.
These new rules are molded after Colorado’s own regulations and are a great step forward in stopping unnecessary waste by the oil and gas industry while also generating additional royalties for taxpayers. As such, it is very important for the rules to be finalized and enacted.
As a concerned resident who lives surrounded by oil and gas development in Garfield County, I am heartened to see our government working to protect our air quality, health and taxpayer dollars. These rules have gone through years of public process and have had much support from Westerners who have to live with the realities of oil and gas development in their community.
A 2016 poll by Colorado College’s State of the Rockies Project found that 76 percent of Republicans in Western states — and nearly 80 percent of all registered voters in Western states — support commonsense rules that cut natural gas waste on public lands.
I now call on our local officials and Congress, especially Rep. Tipton, to support these common-sense rules to help implement them under the incoming administration. The rule put forward by BLM is based on sound legal reasoning and will provide immense benefits to local communities, states and federal government, and will create jobs.
Colorado’s air quality rules have been cost effective and have helped reduce leaks and curb venting and flaring of our publicly owned natural gas. It is now time for the whole country to enjoy the same benefits and protections as we do here in Colorado.
Betsy A. Leonard