American Lung Association Statement on Obama Administration Methane Announcement
Statement from Paul G. Billings Senior Vice President, Advocacy and Education, American Lung Association
(January 14, 2015) - Washington, D.C.
“We commend the Obama Administration’s commitment to take steps to curb methane air pollution and further reduce volatile organic compound emissions from the oil and gas sector. These pollutants threaten public health and we need strong steps to reduce their burden.
“Scientists warn that methane contributes to climate change and warmer average temperatures. Rising temperatures increase the risk of unhealthful ozone levels, because higher temperatures can enhance the conditions for ozone formation.
“Volatile organic compounds from oil and gas operations, including carcinogens such as benzene, toluene and formaldehyde, are hazardous toxic gases that react easily with other gases and particles. The American Lung Association has urged the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to set much stronger standards to limit these toxics.
“The public strongly supports methane limits. Last month the American Lung Association released a nationwide bipartisan survey that showed Americans across the country overwhelmingly support the EPA establishing the first federal limits on methane emissions in the air they breathe.
“An overwhelming two-to-one majority favors new methane emissions standards from the EPA. Support for the new standards actually grew after voters heard simulated and balanced arguments that included the strongest messages from both sides of the issue (including attacks from opponents on cost and jobs), resulting in majority support across the political spectrum, including from Republicans.
“The American Lung Association will work to strengthen the Administration’s proposal to include existing sources and provide greater public health protections. People most at risk of harm from breathing these air pollutants, who are depending on the EPA to take action to clean up air pollution from the oil and natural gas industry include: infants, children and teenagers; older adults; pregnant women; people with asthma and other lung diseases; people with cardiovascular disease; diabetics; people with low incomes; and healthy adults who work or exercise outdoors.
“For more information on the polling, the analysis memo, slide deck and questions from Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research and Perception Insight can be found here.”