Sierra Club Statement on Bureau of Land Management Methane Venting and Flaring Forum
Golden, CO -- The Department of Interior Bureau of Land Management (BLM) held a forum today to start the rule making process for Onshore Oil and Gas Rule No. 9 pertaining to methane emissions from oil and gas operations, including emissions from venting and flaring. BLM rules apply to more than 750 million acres, including mineral estates under Tribal lands, National Forests, Wildlife Refuges and other special places, and more than 50 million acres of privately-owned land. Rules for methane emissions would help maintain clean air and protect the health of residential communities and the environment.
This forum follows a February 2014 decision by the Colorado Air Quality Control Commission -- a division of the State’s Department of Public Health and the Environment -- to adopt rules to regulate methane emissions from the oil and gas industry, making Colorado the first state in the nation to regulate this powerful climate pollutant. The rules also require the industry to identify and fix leaky equipment that emits smog-forming pollution and emits raw natural gas into the atmosphere. The oil and gas industry is the largest source of methane emissions in the U.S.
In response, Sierra Club Colorado Campaign Representative, Catherine Collentine, released the following statement.
"The Obama Administration has pledged to reduce methane emissions from oil and gas operations. The BLM and other federal agencies must draft rules that significantly reduce the amount of methane released from oil and gas operations on public lands because clean air is not something we can put at risk. It is time for the BLM to take serious action to curb climate pollution and protect both public health and the environment.
“While no regulations can make fracking entirely safe, the Obama Administration, through the BLM and other agency rule making processes, must ensure that Americans are better protected by requiring stringent pollution control measures that will help limit the devastating effects of climate disruption and protect communities from dangerous smog.
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