Op-eds and Columns

Times Leader LTE: Elected officials should stand against fossil fuels

It was an honor to testify before the House Subcommittee on the Environment on the role of federal fossil fuel subsidies in preventing action on the climate crisis. However, I was disappointed by the response from state and local government leaders who I believe misrepresented the issue, citing research published by the oil and gas industry to back up false claims of economic growth and “clean” emissions.

In a recent news article, state Sen.Frank Hoagland, R-Mingo Junction, stated: “Far left attempts to vilify the significant economic opportunities brought by the oil and gas industry are patently false …” This argument is futile, as the statistics mentioned in my testimony came directly from the Bureau of Labor Statics and Bureau of Economics. It is the irrefutable truth, based on governmental data, that Appalachian fracking counties have lost 6,500 jobs and 13,000 residents since the fracking boom began.

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Houston Chronicle Op-ed: Shell president: Bring back 2016 methane regulations with a joint resolution of Congress

Last October, France blocked a $7 billion U.S. LNG deal weeks after the Trump administration finalized a rule to stop the direct federal regulation of methane emissions from oil and gas production.

The timing was not a coincidence.

France’s actions and current conversations in the EU about imposing methane standards on gas sold into Europe make explicit the link between the U.S. controlling its methane emissions and America’s continued ability to compete in the global LNG market. The message from the customer is clear: Clean up your act, or we’re not buying it.

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Columbus Dispatch Op-ed: Biden’s plan good for Ohio’s people, jobs and the environment

I grew up in a company town, a daughter of the fossil fuel industry.

When business was booming, our air was harder to breathe. When business was a bust, families in our community struggled to put food on the table. This vicious cycle led many to believe that we had to choose between a healthy environment or a vibrant economy.

I have spent many years fighting that false dichotomy. Protecting air, land, and water in a manner that creates and maintains jobs should never be up for debate. We can, and should, do both.

That is why I believe President Biden’s American Jobs Plan is the right investment for our future. This plan secures environmental and economic wins, while also addressing climate change.

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The Reporter LTE: Reduce methane to cut air pollution

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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Go Erie Op-ed: Federal smog policy is impacting PA

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is on pace to propose new standards for methane and other volatile organic compound pollution from oil and gas facilities by September .

This month, Sen. Martin Heinrich, D-New Mexico, will attempt to use the 1996 Congressional Review Act to undo the Trump Administration’s reckless dismantling of the 2016 New Source Performance Standards for oil and gas facilities. This was the first-ever federal standard for methane and volatile organic compound leakage from new oil and gas facilities.

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Pittsburgh Tribune Review Op-ed: Joseph Otis Minott: Biden must prioritize health of Pa. citizens

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is on pace to propose new standards for methane and other volatile organic compound (VOC) pollution from oil and gas facilities by September 2021. Next month, Sen. Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., will attempt to use the 1996 Congressional Review Act to undo the Trump administration’s reckless dismantling of the 2016 New Source Performance Standards for oil and gas facilities. This was the first ever federal standard for methane and volatile organic compound leakage from new oil and gas facilities.

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TribLIVE Op-ed: Biden must prioritize health of Pa. citizens

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is on pace to propose new standards for methane and other volatile organic compound (VOC) pollution from oil and gas facilities by September 2021. Next month, Sen. Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., will attempt to use the 1996 Congressional Review Act to undo the Trump administration’s reckless dismantling of the 2016 New Source Performance Standards for oil and gas facilities. This was the first ever federal standard for methane and volatile organic compound leakage from new oil and gas facilities.

We need President Biden and EPA Administrator Michael Regan to prioritize the health of Pennsylvanians when establishing these much needed public health and air pollution standards. The Pennsylvania Department of Public Health recently concluded that, “Air pollution is one of the greatest health challenges in Pennsylvania.”

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Pittsburgh Post-Gazette LTE: Minimize pollution

Now is the time to make sure that Pennsylvania residents and workers are protected from the oil and gas industry and receive needed government funding to expand renewable energy and increase resilience to the increasing effects of climate change.

The Biden administration has committed to propose new standards for methane and volatile organic compound leakage from new and existing oil and gas facilities by September. The administration has also raised the social cost of carbon to $51 a ton compared with the Trump administration’s low of $1. The Methane Emissions Reduction Act has been proposed in the Senate to establish a fee system starting at $1,800 per ton of methane from the oil and gas industry to benefit the National Coastal Resilience Fund or the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.

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Pittsburgh Post-Gazette LTE: Minimize pollution

Now is the time to make sure that Pennsylvania residents and workers are protected from the oil and gas industry and receive needed government funding to expand renewable energy and increase resilience to the increasing effects of climate change.

The Biden administration has committed to propose new standards for methane and volatile organic compound leakage from new and existing oil and gas facilities by September. The administration has also raised the social cost of carbon to $51 a ton compared with the Trump administration’s low of $1. The Methane Emissions Reduction Act has been proposed in the Senate to establish a fee system starting at $1,800 per ton of methane from the oil and gas industry to benefit the National Coastal Resilience Fund or the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. The administration directed the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to consider a proposed fossil fuel pipeline’s contribution to climate change. FERC also recently unanimously voted to reconsider a 1999 policy statement that guides how the commission approves gas infrastructure.

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Columbus Dispatch Op-ed: “We cannot achieve social justice without environmental and climate justice.”

Ohio has experienced more than 18,000 deaths from the COVID-19 pandemic and continually feels the ripples of police violence through the deaths of Casey Goodson Jr., Julius Tate and Andre Hill in our state capital — all while the pervasive threat of climate change still looms over the planet.

For some, this past year has highlighted extreme vulnerabilities in our economic, political and social systems. For others in marginalized communities, the disproportionate impact of social and environmental inequities and inequalities are part of everyday life.

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