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EPA Methane Rules: An Essential Step in Moving Towards Climate Justice            

Dec 2, 2023 | Press Releases |

December 2, 2023       

Contact: National office: Bill Bradlee, Senior Organizing Director, bill@interfaithpowerandlight.org, (415) 506-8063; New Mexico office: Sr. Joan Brown, Executive Director, joan@nm-ipl.org, (505)264-9966 

EPA Methane Rules: An Essential Step in Moving Towards Climate Justice

(Washington, DC – Dec. 2,, 2023) Today, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released final rules to cut methane and other harmful pollutants from oil and gas operations throughout the United States. Interfaith Power & Light (IPL) supports the EPA in taking these common-sense steps to reduce methane that was being wasted by the oil & gas industry. 

Rev. Susan Hendershot, IPL President, said, “People of faith and conscience, with a shared commitment for stewardship of our Sacred Earth, applaud the EPA for these rules to address harmful methane pollution.  At a time when nations are meeting for the international climate conference in Dubai, the final EPA rules show the U.S. is serious about its moral responsibility to reduce methane pollution. The rules will help address the climate crisis by decreasing methane in our air, and it will help protect the millions of people living on the frontlines of oil and gas development across the country.”

Interfaith Power & Light state affiliate leaders are on the frontlines of these issues in places like the Permian Basin region in New Mexico and Marcellus Shale region of Pennsylvania. 

Sister Joan Brown, osf, Executive Director, New Mexico Interfaith Power & Light, said: “People of faith and conscience in New Mexico and El Paso Interfaith Power & Light have been working to support strong EPA methane rules for a decade. We have grown in alarm and concern for community health, environmental justice, and caring for our sacred climate. The EPA holds a particular ethical responsibility to address pollution from the oil and gas industry. Pope Francis recently called the climate path that we are on “madness.”  Strong rules are imperative to care for our neighbors and the Common Good, and we are grateful for this critical EPA rule. Many in our communities suffer not only from climate change effects but also from pollution that causes multiple health problems. People of faith understand that these rules are meant to cherish life, and we look forward to strong enforcement that addresses the irresponsible and wasteful practice of routine flaring in communities throughout the Permian Basin of Southeast New Mexico, where many new immigrants live and in the Northwest part of our state that is home to many Navajo communities.”

Katie Ruth, Executive Director of Pennsylvania Interfaith Power & Light, said: “We are encouraged by today’s announcement of stronger federal methane rules by President Biden and EPA Administrator Regan. This is an important step forward in mitigating the climate crisis. As people of faith, we believe that it is our moral responsibility to advance environmental justice, and that further action must center the voices of environmental justice and frontline communities. Our elected officials in Pennsylvania now have the opportunity to strongly implement this rule and ensure the wellbeing of all Pennsylvanians who have experienced the detrimental effects of the oil and gas industry.” 

Interfaith Power & Light urges the EPA now to move toward implementation and enforcement of the rule. Rapid and effective implementation and enforcement can help us make an immediate difference in the health impacts of those frontline communities on the edge of oil & gas development. It can also make a difference in addressing climate pollution and helping to encourage and inspire other countries to take similar actions. 

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Interfaith Power & Light works in all 50 states and U.S. territories with a broad national network of state- and regional-level affiliates. IPL inspires and mobilizes people of faith and conscience to take bold and just action on climate change.

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