Ohio Environmental Council, March 11, 2016
COLUMBUS, OH – Yesterday, President Obama and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau committed to curb dangerous methane pollution from hundreds of thousands of existing sources of oil and gas infrastructure in their respective countries. A large, diverse coalition of environmental, labor, health professionals and faith leaders released the following statement in response to this morning’s announcement:
“This landmark agreement will help protect Americans and Canadians alike from the health and economic impacts of climate change, which are being exacerbated by methane pollution. In 2013, Ohio contributed over 13,000 tons of methane to the atmosphere. This is enough natural gas to heat nearly 8,500 Ohio homes. With this announcement the discussion is no longer whether or not to address methane pollution from the oil and gas industry, it’s about how soon we can do it.
Utilizing existing affordable technologies, methane pollution can be curbed while generating quality jobs in Ohio.
This agreement also will protect Ohioans in our most vulnerable communities. Over 15% of Ohioans are at an increased risk for developing breathing and respiratory problems due to living near active oil and gas wells in Ohio.
We applaud President Obama and Prime Minister Trudeau for their leadership in combating climate change and protecting the health of residents in Ohio and across the country. Requiring existing operations to meet the standard will result in an immediate improvement in the quality of life and personal health of Ohioans.
We look forward to working with the Administration to help fulfill these joint commitments, particularly the development of federal limits on methane pollution from currently operating oil and gas infrastructure.”
Yesterday’s announcement comes on the heels of information that the lower 48 states experienced the warmest winter on record, the arctic reached record low ice cover again, historic storms battered the pacific, and Lake Erie and the Ohio River experienced historic algal blooms.
The U.S and Canada are the world’s second and the fourth largest methane polluters in the world respectively. Both countries have committed to reducing methane pollution by 40-45% over the next decade.
Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments
Ohio BlueGreen Alliance
Ohio Farmers Union
Moms Clean Air Force
National Wildlife Federation
Raven Rocks Community
The Ohio Environmental Council
FreshWater Accountability Project