Illustration from Science – “Evidence builds that dirty air causes Alzheimer’s, dementia”
#1. – LAST DAY (4/23) Dirtier Air Courtesy of Trump’s EPA.
The Trump Administration has been determined to rollback and unravel the hard fought for rules protecting our air, water and soil from pollution. With strong support from the oil and fossil fuel industry, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt has proposed to withdraw from the Control Techniques Guidelines (CTGs) that assist states in controlling air pollution from the oil and natural gas industry, and trigger related clean air planning requirements in many areas with ozone smog problems. Withdrawal of these guidelines would mean that, as a practical matter, much uncontrolled or under-controlled oil and gas industry equipment in impacted areas would continue to emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs), a group of chemicals that react in the atmosphere to form ground-level ozone (smog). Let EPA know we support keeping these guidelines and oppose allowing pollutants to dirty our air.
We have been reviewing comments already submitted. There are a number of conservative comments, including letter/attachments from energy companies eager to improve their profit margins, like this one…
So get your comments in right away. They do NOT have to be long. There are currently only 14,642 recorded comments.
Sample Written Script: Pick some of these points and mix and match. More information on air pollution issues here. If your health or someone you love has health issues from pollution, make it personal.
- I oppose the Trump Administration’s proposal to withdraw the oil and natural gas control techniques guidelines (CTG) because withdrawal means more ozone smog, more climate-changing methane pollution, and more toxic air pollution. That pollution harms Americans’ health and welfare, and our natural environment.
- EPA’s own estimate is that the withdrawal of the CTG would forgo pollution reductions each year of more than 64,000 tons of smog-forming VOCs, nearly 200,000 tons of climate-changing methane, and 2,400 tons of hazardous air pollutants linked to a variety of serious health effects.
- EPA says the oil and gas sector is the largest industrial source of emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), a group of chemicals that react in the atmosphere to form ground-level ozone (smog). Exposure to ozone is linked to a wide range of health effects, including aggravated asthma, increased emergency room visits and hospital admissions, and premature death.[vi]
- VOC emissions from the oil and gas industry include hazardous air pollutants such as benzene, ethylbenzene, and n-hexane. These pollutants, also known as toxic air pollutants, are pollutants known or suspected to cause cancer or other serious health problems such as reproductive effects or nervous system problems.
- VOC controls recommended by the guideline also would reduce emissions of methane, a potent greenhouse gas. Delay in controlling methane would be a dangerous mistake because, as EPA’s web site notes, methane has a global warming potential about 86 times that of carbon dioxide over 20 years.
- Issuance of the oil and gas CTG triggered a Clean Air Act requirement for states to revise their clean air plans within two years to require “reasonably available control technology” for oil and gas industry equipment that is covered by the CTG and located in certain areas with ozone smog problems.
- Withdrawal of the CTG would mean, as a practical matter, that much of that uncontrolled or under-controlled existing oil and gas industry equipment would continue to emit pollution without reasonably available controls. As a result, unnecessary risks to public health and the environment would continue.
- The agency’s stated rationale for withdrawing the CTG is that it is reconsidering the 2016 oil and gas methane rule, a national rule that established performance standards for oil and natural gas industry pollution sources that are new or modified. Neither the national rule nor the CTG should be weakened or withdrawn.
#2. LAST DAY (4/23) – “Dear Public – are you SURE you don’t want to turn the Ruby Mountains of Nevada into an oil patch?”Embed from Getty Images
Environment URGENT ACTION: Due to high negative feedback, the Park Service has re-opened a public comment period for a proposal to allow fracking in the pristine Ruby Mountains of Nevada.
Comment here. If you have been to the Ruby Mountains, please include personal stories and photos. You can also just write a few lines saying you oppose opening up park lands to oil and gas companies; these comments are generally counted as pro or con. Don’t worry about making a complex appeal; it’s the numbers that matter!
Not sure what to say? Check out other people’s comments here.
(Currently 8,072 comments)
#3. LAST DAY (4/23) – Stop the attack on our protections from methane.
Methane is a potent greenhouse gas, and alongside other toxic gases emitted from oil and gas drilling, is linked to increased asthma rates, birth defects, and cancer. The . Obama administration put commonsense safeguards in place that set limits to the amount of pollution that was allowed to escape providing critical health protections for surrounding Indigenous communities and those who live near public lands. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke and the Bureau of Land Management have submitted a proposal to repeal the Waste Prevention Rule, an Obama-era rule which reduces methane emissions. While the courts have struck down Zinke’s efforts to delay the implementation of the original Waste Prevention Rule, his proposal in the Federal Register is a separate attack which is open to comments until April 23rd.
(Currently 126,118 comments, up from 76,415 comments last week)
#4. (4/30 deadline) – The Beaufort Sea needs to remain off-limits.
In Dec. of 2016, Obama said that the Beaufort Sea and the entire Chukchi Sea was tp be off-limits to drilling per “the scientific assessment that, even with the high safety standards that both our countries have put in place, the risks of an oil spill in this region are significant and our ability to clean up from a spill in the region’s harsh conditions is limited. By contrast, it would take decades to fully develop the production infrastructure necessary for any large-scale oil and gas leasing production in the region—at a time when we need to continue to move decisively away from fossil fuels.”
Trump don’t care. His administration is proposing to resume leasing areas of Alaska’s Beaufort Sea to oil drilling as soon as next year.
(Currently 40 comments, up from 25 comments last week.)