Now is the time to fight climate pollution - Albuquerque Journal

Now is the time to fight climate pollution

As a mother living in New Mexico, I worry about the air my kids breathe and the environment they will inherit. New Mexico is currently facing record temperatures, wildfires and drought.

Despite these clear indicators of climate change, the Trump administration is recklessly weakening key parts of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) rules to reduce methane pollution from the oil and gas industry.

Methane and associated pollution from the oil and gas industry can cause respiratory diseases, asthma attacks and cancer. Weakening these standards is a blatant attack on the health of children living, learning, and playing near these facilities. In New Mexico, there are over 32,000 children attending schools within a half mile of oil and gas wells, compressors and processors who are being exposed to the potential health impacts of these facilities.

Sadly, New Mexico is also home to the nation’s most concentrated methane pollution “hot spot” hovering above northwest New Mexico’s San Juan Basin. With this and the rapidly expanding drilling in Southeast New Mexico’s Permian Basin, these standards are sorely needed.

Methane pollution also poses a grave danger to our planet. It has over 80 times the warming power of carbon dioxide, making it a major driver of climate change. Right now, oil and gas industrial facilities emit at least 8 million metric tons of methane pollution a year. That has the same climate impact as operating over 150 coal-fired power plants for a year, or driving more than 145 million cars for a year! Yikes!

For my kids, and every family across the country, I find this deeply concerning. Instead of weakening the EPA methane rules, which have been in place for over a year, we need to keep them strong to protect New Mexicans and our planet.

New Mexico just elected a new governor, Michelle Lujan Grisham, who has pledged to attack the methane problem with state rules to reduce pollution. We are grateful for her and other local and state leaders who oppose climate-disrupting pollution.

However, Trump is working to create huge loopholes for oil and gas companies to pollute our atmosphere. It is unconscionable that our federal government wants to weaken or revoke safeguards that protect our children from harmful oil and gas air pollution. We are already experiencing the impacts of climate change. Now is the time to cut climate pollution to head off the worst impacts.

If Acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler and Trump succeed, the health of many across New Mexico will suffer.

That is why it is so important for all New Mexicans to make our voices heard on or before Dec. 17 when the comment period on this proposed rollback closes.

Tell Wheeler and Trump that we oppose their attacks on our health before it’s too late.

Our well being depends on it.

Home » Opinion » Guest Columns » Now is the time to fight climate pollution


Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email yourstory@abqjournal.com

taboola desktop

1
NM's methane rule unfair on low-producing wells
From the newspaper
Family operators will have to cap ... Family operators will have to cap hundreds of low-emitting sites early
2
Editorial: Vo-tech, welfare reform can fix our dismal worker ...
Editorials
New Mexico is in an economic ... New Mexico is in an economic rut.    It's not due to a shortage of jobs. More t ...
3
Our military veterans deserve a leg up into federal ...
From the newspaper
Let's make the most of their ... Let's make the most of their valuable skills, perspective and diversity
4
Congress invests in science and technology of future
From the newspaper
As the final days of summer ... As the final days of summer wean off their last few minutes of sunlight, kids revive their calculato ...
5
Tips to start coming back from the pandemic's isolation
From the newspaper
Wondering about the social effects of ... Wondering about the social effects of COVID-19 restrictions such as limiting gatherings, orders clos ...
6
Ethics questioned as cannabis regulators join the private sector
ABQnews Seeker
Some are unsure if the state's ... Some are unsure if the state's 'revolving door' policy indeed curbs conflicts of interest
7
County's cool with casitas
ABQnews Seeker
Bernalillo County is ready for a ... Bernalillo County is ready for a new kind of tiny home. Meanwhile, county voters in November will have their say on $40.5M worth of ...
8
Couy Griffin back in court to fight for his ...
ABQnews Seeker
Lawsuit contends that his role on ... Lawsuit contends that his role on Jan. 6 violated the 14th Amendment
9
'Art of Indigenous Fashion' showcases the works of Native ...
Arts
The IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native ... The IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Art exhibition 'Art of Indigenous Fashion' runs from Aug. 19 through Jan. 8, 2023.