How can it be that on some days, the air in rural Wyoming is smoggier than the worst days in Los Angeles?
Oil and gas drilling in 30 states releases a slew of dangerous and toxic air pollution like smog-forming ozone, benzene and formaldehyde.
Despite the serious respiratory and neurological impacts, the clean air rules governing drilling pollution haven't been updated since the 1980's. And many of the worst chemicals still aren't regulated at all.
The EPA has proposed long-overdue updates to oil and gas air pollution rules and is accepting public comments until November 30th. Amidst mounting industry pressure, and mounting political pressure from within the Obama administration to cave to polluters ahead of the 2012 election, it's really important that the EPA hears our strong support.
Tell the EPA: Stop toxic air pollution from oil and gas drilling.
With the rapid expansion of oil and gas drilling - especially the controversial gas drilling process known as horizontal hydraulic fracturing, or fracking - these rules need to be implemented without delay.
But the EPA has been under enormous pressure to delay or derail one clean air rule after another, as the agency works through the backlog of legally required clean air updates left in the wake of eight years of inaction and backsliding from the Bush Administration.
Unfortunately, many of President Obama's advisers have gotten into the game too. This was detailed in a blockbuster article in this week's New York Times, which chronicled the decision by President Obama and others to torpedo the EPA's life-saving ozone rule.
Tell the EPA: Don't delay on strong rules to reduce air pollution from oil and gas drilling. Submit a comment now.
Many of these oil and gas drilling facilities operate in close proximity to homes or schools, where residents report severe headaches, dizziness, difficulty breathing, nosebleeds, rashes and even trouble walking or speaking.
The proposed rules are an important first step to limit toxic air pollution, using cost-effective, readily available technology. Unfortunately, the rules fail to address methane released from oil and gas, the most potent greenhouse gas pollutant -- and should be strengthened to do so.
The oil and gas industry has been unaccountable for their pollution for far too long. As the President continues to approve expansion of oil and gas drilling, we need to show that the EPA has strong support for this rule to limit some of its toxic effects.
Submit a public comment now to tell the EPA to reduce toxic air pollution from oil and gas drilling.
By submitting this form, your name, address and comments will be filed with a public agency and become public record.
The proposed rules are fair, achievable and vitally important given that regulations to protect our air from oil and gas drilling have not kept up with the rapid pace of drilling expansion.
In addition to reducing emissions of volatile organic compounds, your agency should limit emissions of methane, a potent heat-trapping gas that leads to global warming. Your agency also needs to strengthen the limits of hazardous air pollutants and cancer-causing chemicals like benzene to fulfill your legal duty to protect communities from unacceptable health threats like toxic air pollution coming from the oil and gas sector.