Right now Congress is threatening to overturn a ruling by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) that would save taxpayers millions of dollars and curb harmful pollution from methane waste.
Each year oil and gas companies operating on federal and tribal lands waste more than $330 million worth of natural gas, primarily in the form of methane. This results in a loss of royalties that could help improve our schools, roads and other infrastructure. When methane is released into the air so too is the toxic chemical benzene, which is linked to cancer, as well as other ozone-forming pollutants that can trigger asthma attacks and worsen emphysema. This air pollution disproportionately affects Latino communities who live in these areas.
To the contrary, the BLM rule – which HECHO worked hard to help finalize last year -- would curb natural gas waste by requiring new and existing oil and gas operations on public lands to use the most up-to-date technology to capture wasted natural gas that is either released into the atmosphere or burned off, and repair leaks from equipment. To help prevent this important ruling from being overturned, we are partnering with other Latino groups including: the Hispanic Access Foundation; Chispa Nevada; League of Conservation Voters; Mi Familia Vota; and Por la Creación Faith-based Alliance, to educate Congress, the press, and the public about this issue. As part of this awareness campaign we created a radio ad with HECHO Advisory Board Member Rock Ulibarri, in which he says:
“I grew up in the West hiking and camping, and learned an important rule for our outdoor way of life - you don’t waste what you can use…. Unfortunately, the oil and gas lobby is attacking the BLM’s new rule to cut natural gas waste, trying to rig the system against tax payers and in favor of oil and gas companies. Our leaders in Washington have a moral obligation to protect our natural resources. They need to stand up for taxpayers, for our outdoor heritage, and for clean air.”
Listen to the whole radio ad here: