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EVENT: What you can do to protect your air

By December 1, 2016Methane

We’ve all heard what President-elect Trump has said he’ll do to our environment when he gets in office – repeal the Clean Power Plan, “erase” the Paris Climate agreement, let oil and gas pollute our air, land and water unchecked.

The possibilities are endless, scary and wrong – but we’re more concerned about what we are going to do. That’s you and me and other citizens who care about breathing clean air, drinking clean water and leaving a healthy, resilient state for our children. Working alongside our allies at 350 New Mexico, Sierra Club – Rio Grande Chapter, New Mexico Interfaith Power and Light and Western Environmental Law Center, we’re hosting a workshop about the critical methane rules and what we can do next to keep them on the books.

Methane is a super pollutant that is an even more dangerous greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide—in terms of both climate change and quality of the air we breathe. Methane escapes with other toxic air pollutants like volatile organic compounds that contribute to smog formation and carcinogens like benzene. That means when methane is leaked into our air, it can spike asthma attacks and cancer rates.

The Bureau of Land Management and Environmental Protection Agency put rules in place this year to reduce methane from new sources. With Trump appointees overseeing these agencies, we need to come together now to fight for these important rules that protect our health.

The “hot spot” of methane hanging over the San Juan Basin in northwestern New Mexico is so big, NASA thought their equipment was malfunctioning the first time they detected it. NASA launched a study and determined that the “hot spot” is the size of Delaware and half of the pollution comes from 25 large oil and gas sources venting and flaring methane into the air. During the workshop, we’ll dig deeper into the study to fully understand the impacts of methane on our air and health.

Speakers include Jon Goldstein, who helps lead Environmental Defense Fund’s efforts to improve regulation of the oil and gas industry and protect precious air and water resources in the Rocky Mountain region, Rock Ulibarri — a San Miguel County Commissioner for District 1 and former educator, Climate Scientist Bernie Zak, and Kim Howe with Dooda Fracking.

We will not stand by as the incoming administration attacks our health and our air.