350 Colorado supports the draft EPA rules to reduce methane and other harmful pollutants from oil and gas operations across the U.S. According to the International Energy Agency, to fight climate change most effectively, we need to reduce methane quickly in the near term – 75% by 2030 –  because it has a warming potential at least 80 times greater than carbon dioxide.

Colorado is already experiencing drought and wildfires caused by climate change and has 24 counties experiencing warming greater than 1.5°C, with some counties having warmed as much as 2.4°C (data available here). To solve the climate crisis, all states in the U.S. and all nations in the world must work together. Strong national rules to reduce methane are essential.

Methane venting from a compressor station

Gas venting from a compressor station made visible by a camera specially calibrated to detect methane and other VOCs. http://oilandgasthreatmap.com/about/infrared/


The rules to reduce methane will also reduce associated toxic chemicals released by oil and gas operations. Reducing these toxic emissions will protect the health of 17.3 million Americans living within a half-mile of an oil or gas well, who are disproportionately communities of color, people living below the poverty line, seniors, and children (source here).

The proposed EPA rules show that the EPA and Biden administration have listened to the hundreds of thousands of people who commented at the EPA and thousands who petitioned the Biden administration, but they still need some work. For one thing, they should eliminate pollution from the wasteful practice of routine venting and flaring. The EPA and Biden administration must ensure the rules are as strong as possible and get them across the finish line right away.  Each day of methane reduction will slow global warming and each fraction of a degree of warming we can prevent will save lives. Each day with lower emissions of toxic chemicals reduces the burden on our communities. We have no time to waste.

Strong methane rules are an important piece of government action to address the climate crisis. Though it is outside the purview of these rules, 350 Colorado also urges the Biden Administration to work toward a phaseout of oil and gas permitting with a just transition for workers and communities. To sign a support letter for Colorado to phase out oil and gas permitting by 2030 click here.

Learn more about how you can get involved with 350 Colorado here.