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PNS Daily News - December 11, 2019 


U.S. House to vote on two articles of impeachment; $1.4 trillion in planned oil & gas development said to put the world in "bright red level" of climate crisis; anti-protest legislation moves forward in Ohio; "forest farming" moves forward in Appalachia; and someone's putting cowboy hats on pigeons in Nevada.

2020Talks - December 11, 2019 


18 years ago today, China joined the WTO. Now, China's in a trade war with the U.S. Also, House Democrats and the Trump administration made a deal to move forward with the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement.

PA Pushback on EPA Plan to Eliminate Methane Regulations

U.S. oil and gas operations release an estimated 13 million metric tons of methane per year. (Bertold Werkmann/Adobe Stock)
U.S. oil and gas operations release an estimated 13 million metric tons of methane per year. (Bertold Werkmann/Adobe Stock)
September 3, 2019

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Environmental groups say the latest deregulation proposal from the Environmental Protection Agency would be devastating for the health of Pennsylvanians and the future of the planet. Late last week, EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler released a proposal to eliminate direct regulation of methane emissions from new and modified oil and gas facilities.

According to Mollie Michel, Southeast Pennsylvania field consultant with Moms Clean Air Force, that would endanger the health of vulnerable populations, like children and older adults, as more ozone-forming compounds escape into the air.

"The EPA has become almost an arm of the oil and gas industry, protecting them over public health and the environment,” Michel sail

The EPA said the proposal is in line with President Donald Trump's directive to eliminate rules that unduly burden energy development beyond what is necessary to protect the public.

Experts estimate methane, a powerful greenhouse gas, accounts for 25% of the global climate change happening now. Michel pointed out that as the second-largest methane-producing state, Pennsylvania needs to step in where the EPA is backing off.

"We're looking toward Gov. Wolf to show his leadership on the state level and enact strong methane controls from existing sources of this dangerous pollution across the Commonwealth,” she said.

In April, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection released draft rules for controlling emissions from existing oil and gas facilities - but critics say they don't go far enough.

Michel noted the new EPA proposal must be published in the Federal Register, which will trigger a public-comment period before it can go into effect.

"The minute that 60-day public-comment period opens up, we'll be asking individuals in Pennsylvania and across the country to put their comments in, so that at least our voices are being heard,” Michel said.

More information is available at EDF.org.

Andrea Sears, Public News Service - PA