Interfaith Power & Light: Why Be Concerned About Methane

by Duane Nichols on August 22, 2015

I.P.L. 2014 Annual Meeting

Greetings from Susan Stephenson, Interfaith Power & Light, August 20, 2015

The Obama Administration and the EPA have announced first-ever regulations to control methane emissions from oil and gas sites around the nation. Our IPL urged the EPA to take action on methane last year.

Industrial leaks from oil and gas infrastructure are like an invisible oil spill happening every day. Methane is also a toxic pollutant and a potent greenhouse gas that is harming communities around the country. It contributes to ground-level smog that disproportionately impacts children, the elderly and the poor who tend to live in closer proximity to pollution sources. Justice demands that we protect these vulnerable populations from this insidious threat.

There’s a lot more to do, as these standards will only address new and modified oil and gas sites. But existing and abandoned wells, drilling and transportation infrastructure are still a major risk and contributor to climate change.

Top Five (5) Reasons Methane Matters, IPL, August 20, 2015

The EPA’s Proposed Methane Pollution Standards for the oil and gas industry are a critical component of the Obama administration’s strategy to cut U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. Here are five things you may not know about methane – and why curbing it matters for the climate.

1) Methane is responsible for up to 25% of the warming we are currently experiencing. Methane (CH4) is the most prevalent greenhouse gas after CO2 and the EPA has inventoried its sources and impact on global warming:

2) Methane traps 80 times as much heat over a 20-year period as carbon dioxide. While methane’s lifetime in the atmosphere is much shorter than CO2, it is much more efficient at trapping radiation. In order to respond quickly to climate change, cutting methane emissions is critical.

3) Industry wastes millions of tons of gas through leaks and flaring every year. NRDC, Sierra Club, and other environmental groups published a report earlier this year showing how EPA could cut methane emissions in half by reducing waste at existing oil and gas infrastructure nationwide:

4) The technology to prevent methane and toxic air pollution is widely and easily available and affordable. The Environmental Defense Fund conducted a 16-part study on methane leakage and identified many cost-effective tools to plug the leaks that are available now.

5) Addressing methane pollution is an important piece of the Obama administration’s plan to cut global warming pollution by 26-28% by 2025. This pledge was made to the U.N. in advance of the international climate conference in Paris at the end of 2015.

Every journey must begin with a first step, and this is a big one. We will be encouraging the EPA to implement these new standards expeditiously and to expand upon them during the 60-day comment period.  Will you stand with us?

Sincerely, Susan Stephenson, Executive Director, Interfaith Power & Light

See our web-site:

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Sally Bingham (9/1/2015) September 1, 2015 at 12:25 pm

From: Interfaith Power & Light, September 1, 2015

Today, September 1st, has been designated the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation by Pope Francis.

He said that the World Day of Prayer would offer individuals and communities an opportunity to “reaffirm their personal vocation to be stewards of Creation” and that it should become an occasion for “reflection, conversion and the adoption of appropriate lifestyles”. The day of prayer began in 1989 with the Ecumenical Patriarch of the Orthodox church.

On the ten-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina it is an appropriate moment for us to come together and reflect on the harm we have done to Creation and to our most vulnerable brothers and sisters.

Pope Francis has said that the ecological crisis is a summons “to a profound spiritual conversion.” This is the work Interfaith Power & Light, and all of you, our congregations and supporters, are aiming to achieve.

Let’s join our inter-religious voices with our Christian brothers and sisters in an interfaith prayer for the Earth today. Click here for the pope’s prayer for our earth:

With interfaith blessings, The Rev. Sally Bingham,
President and Founder, IP&L


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