My name is Pastor Amy Reumann and I am the director of Lutheran Advocacy Ministry in Pennsylvania (LAMPa). LAMPa serves the 1300 Evangelical Lutheran Church in America congregations in the Commonwealth through shaping faith-rooted advocacy on issues that impact the health and well-being of our neighbors. Thank you for the opportunity to speak today in support of the proposed methane emissions reductions and to underscore the urgency of their implementation on behalf of God’s creation and for the common good.
As Lutheran Christians, we understand that we are called to protect the earth and to care for our most vulnerable brothers and sisters. We have a moral obligation to our neighbors who suffer now from the effects of a changing climate which are exacerbated by methane pollution. We are accountable also to future generations by implementing the strongest possible standards to plug the leaks and stop the pollution as swiftly as possible.
We speak out of concern for the populations most adversely affected by the toxic air pollution that is emitted from the same equipment that leaks methane. The proposed standards would simultaneously reduce methane and toxic air pollution that can cause serious health problems including cancer, asthma and other respiratory illnesses in neighboring communities. These impacts fall heavily vulnerable groups like children and the elderly, on communities of color as well as among workers in the gas industry. Our communities across the country impacted by this toxic pollution are suffering now and cannot afford delay.
Methane pollution controls would help protect the health of communities located near oil and gas development, by simultaneously cutting smog-forming and cancer-causing pollutants from the oil and gas sector. Low-cost technologies are already commercially available to cut methane emissions from leaking and venting equipment at oil and gas facilities and these methane pollution controls also help companies cut energy waste. Stopping the leaks is just common sense and good stewardship of resources. These rules only limit methane from new and modified facilities; we support regulations on existing sources of methane pollution as well, which account for 100% of current emissions.
We are faced with an important choice—we can act now, and help to protect future generations and God’s creation from the worst impacts of climate change, or we can fail to act and let our children and the earth suffer the consequences. This rule is a critical step in the right direction.
Statement of the Rev. Amy Reumann, Director, Lutheran Advocacy Ministry in Pennsylvania
Environmental Protection Agency Hearing on Proposed Methane Emissions Reduction Rule for Oil and Gas Operations EPA-HQ-OAR-2010-0505
September 29, 2015