EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt—who, as Oklahoma Attorney General, sued the EPA fourteen times to block crucial pollution limits—has launched yet another attack on clean air and climate protections.
He has officially suspended vital air pollution safeguards that establish common-sense leak detection and repair requirements for new and modified oil and natural gas facilities—safeguards that protect Americans from dangerous methane, smog-forming volatile organic compounds, and toxic and carcinogenic air pollutants like benzene.
We fought hard to get these protections finalized just last year. We can’t let him take them away.
Take action today, and tell Scott Pruitt: It’s your job to protect Americans, not polluters.
More than 18,000 new wells have been newly drilled or modified since September 18, 2015—the date after which such sources would be subject the standards Pruitt is attacking.
Of these, more than 11,000 are wells currently producing oil and gas in states without any state-level leak detection or repair standards—meaning they will be free to continue emitting unlimited pollution.
- This decision is disastrous for the climate. The methane pollution that leaks out is a powerful driver of the climate crisis—responsible for about 25% of the warming we’re experiencing today. And over the first twenty years these emissions remain in the atmosphere, they will have the same climate impact as over 300,000 cars driving for one year or 1.5 billion pounds of coal burned.
- It puts Americans’ health at risk. Ozone, known more commonly as smog, forms when volatile organic compounds and nitrogen oxides mix in sunlight. As we breathe that in, we’re damaging our lungs and hearts. Pruitt’s suspension will lead to thousands of additional tons of smog-forming pollution, at the height of the summer ozone season—and almost 2,000 of the wells covered by the suspension are located in areas that do not meet EPA’s 2008 national air quality standards for ozone.
- And it eliminates a common-sense, highly cost-effective program. The costs of this leak detection and repair are quite small, with companies providing these services for just $250 per well site—while economists estimate that the average annual revenue for each of these wells is approximately $3 million.
<p “=”” “font-size:15px;”=””>We are fighting this attempt to revoke the protections Americans deserve with all our might. Shortly after the suspension of safeguards was published yesterday morning, EDF and a coalition of health and environmental organizations filed an emergency legal challenge to block EPA’s suspension.
But we need your help to surround the Administration with criticism from all sides: Write Scott Pruitt today—and demand that he restore these vital protections!
Thank you for standing with us,
Action Network Manager