Pennsylvania is obligated to protect the health of its citizens. This is as clear as the air we breathe is not. Pennsylvania is the second largest natural gas producing state and one of the dirtiest in terms of air pollution. The Pennsylvania Department of Health recently concluded that “Air pollution is one of the greatest health challenges in Pennsylvania.”
Methane, leaked by the oil and gas industry, is often accompanied by dangerous volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that form ground-level ozone, known as smog, a pervasive asthma-causing air pollutant. Hotter temperatures from climate change, caused by greenhouse gases like methane, result in increased smog levels. The Biden Administration has committed to proposing new and updated standards for methane and VOC leakage from new and existing oil and gas facilities. The Biden administration has also directed the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), who oversees certification of natural gas pipelines, to consider a proposed fossil fuel pipeline’s contribution to climate change.
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