Latino Groups Thank Sen. Cortez Masto for Support of Taxpayers and Clean Air, Urge Sen. Heller to Follow Suit

Today, the Latino Partnership to Cut Waste and Protect Our Health applauds U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) for standing up for American taxpayers, clean air, and healthy communities. The partnership includes Hispanic Access Foundation; HECHO; Chispa Nevada, League of Conservation Voters; Mi Familia Vota; and Por la Creación Faith-based Alliance.

“We thank Senator Cortez Masto for her quick and timely statement of opposition to overturning the BLM methane rule. She rightly points out that it is ‘irresponsible’ for Congress to overturn a rule that will prevent more than $330 million worth of natural gas from being wasted on public and tribal lands by venting, flaring, and leaking natural gas into the air,” said Al Martinez, HECHO Advisory Board Member.

Last week, the groups called on Senators Sens. Dean Heller, Catherine Cortez Masto, John McCain, and Jeff Flake to oppose a Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution that would overturn the U.S. Bureau of Land Management’s natural gas waste rule and prohibit the agency from taking future action. The groups sent letters, ran online and radio ad campaigns, and met with elected officials calling on Senators to oppose the rollback.

The BLM rule was created with the input of thousands, via community meetings, shared stories and testimonies from those most affected by this methane pollution. The CRA would permanently harm taxpayers and pollute the air for communities throughout the West. The CRA passed the U.S. House of Representatives last Friday, though it did face bipartisan opposition. A vote in the Senate is expected as early as this week.

“We are grateful for Senator Cortez Masto’s continued leadership and advocacy on behalf of our families and communities. By opposing the Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution to block the BLM natural gas waste rule, she is making it clear that it is unacceptable to put oil and gas company interests ahead of the communities’ well-being,” said Ben Monterroso, executive director of Mi Familia Vota. “We expect that Senator Heller will follow suit and listen to what Latino voters are asking for by opposing this attempt to allow the oil and gas industry to waste taxpayer money while polluting our air.”

The “Latino Partnership to Cut Waste, Protect Our Health” effort follows more than two years of education and outreach efforts by the Hispanic Access Foundation and HECHO to highlight how natural gas waste harms taxpayers and public health for Latinos in the Rockies.

-30-

About Hispanic Access Foundation

Hispanic Access Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that improves the lives of Hispanics in the United States and promotes civic engagement by educating, motivating, and helping them to access trustworthy support systems.  For more information visit www.hispanicaccess.org.

About HECHO

Hispanics Enjoying Camping, Hunting, and the Outdoors (HECHO) works to protect our healthy watersheds, clean air and robust wildlife habitats so that we can continue to enjoy and practice centuries-old cultural traditions that depend on these open spaces. For more information about HECHO, please visit www.hechoonline.org.

About Mi Familia Vota

Mi Familia Vota is a national non-profit organization that unites Latino, immigrant and allied communities to promote social and economic justice through increased civic participation by promoting citizenship, increasing voter registration, and increasing voter participation. Mi Familia Vota is one of the premiere Latino civic engagement organizations in the country with operations in Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Nevada and Texas. For more information visit www.mifamiliavota.org.

About Chispa NV, League of Conservation Voters

Chispa NV is a community organizing program of the League of Conservation Voters’ Chispa program. We build the capacity of Latinos and families to influence policy makers and pressure polluters to protect communities’ rights to clean air and water, healthy neighborhoods and a safe climate for generations to come. For more information, visit: www.lcv.org/chispa

About Por La Creación Faith Based Alliance

Por la Creación Faith-based Alliance's mission is to develop stewards of God’s creation by educating and engaging this generation to leave a legacy for the future. The group seeks to educate Latinos and to encourage active engagement in supporting the nation’s public lands and protecting our natural resources.