Western Slope residents applaud new BLM methane rules

BLM’s final rule will reduce oil & gas air pollution from industry development on public lands

WCC members and allies at a BLM hearing on the methane rules in March of this year.

Today, the Obama Administration issued final standards to reduce flaring and venting associated with oil and gas development on federal and tribal lands.

Since 2012, Western Colorado Congress, Grand Valley Citizen’s Alliance and Citizens for Clean Air have all been working with people across the West and their representatives in Washington D.C. to convince the Bureau of Land Management to address flaring and venting.

Bob Arrington, co-chair of Western Colorado Congress’s Oil and Gas Committee released the following statement on behalf of WCC:

“WCC applauds the Obama Administration for releasing the final rule for BLM methane waste standards. These standards will help ensure federal and tribal minerals are not unnecessarily wasted by the oil and gas industry while also generating additional profits, royalty and tax income.”

“The rules will improve the air, land and water qualities while reducing overall greenhouse gases. The health of people across the nation will benefit by reducing the methane and other hydrocarbons, including volatile organic compounds, and reducing their by-products of smog, acid rain, ozone, carcinogens, and oxides of carbon, nitrogen and sulfur.”

Leslie Robinson, WCC member and chair of the Grand Valley Citizen’s Alliance in Garfield County also cheered the release of rules. “In 2014, Colorado led the country in passing some of the strongest air quality rules to limit the air pollution from oil and gas development, and we are glad to see the BLM following suit. Sensible federal waste reduction rules will help level the playing field for industry across the country, protect the American taxpayers, and address regional air quality issues such as the methane cloud in the Four Corners- a problem that can’t be solved by individual states.”

Karen Sjoberg, WCC member and chair of Citizens for Clean Air in Grand Junction echoed this statement, saying “We know that Western Colorado’s ozone issues are connected to oil and gas development in Utah and we are glad that our neighboring states will now be held to similar standards. It will help alleviate air quality issues in the Grand Valley and give residents in the Uinta Basin an important tool to reduce air pollution and improve public health in their area.  All Americans deserve the right to breathe clean air.”

“We look forward to reading the details of the rule, and working to see them implemented in Colorado. WCC and our members across the Western Slope also call on the incoming administration to keep this much needed standard intact to ensure that the oil and gas industry stops wasting American-owned oil and gas resources,” Arrington concluded.

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