Forty-thousand doctors, nurses and public-health professionals have asked the oil and gas industry to stop opposing policies to reduce methane emissions.
In an open letter to the Marcellus Shale Coalition, an industry lobbying group, the health advocates point out that opposing regulations that restrict methane emissions endangers public health. The gas developers are urging state legislators to support a bill that would prohibit the Department of Environmental Protection from having stricter regulations than those mandated by the federal government.
And as doctor Ned Ketyer, a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics Council on Environmental Health, notes, the Trump administration does not like regulations.
“The administration has made it very clear that as early as this week they’re going to start rolling back and removing regulations that protect public health,” he said.
The gas industry counters that burning natural gas is cleaner than burning coal or oil, and therefore helps clean the environment.
But Ketyer dismisses that argument. He compares it to saying that putting a filter on a cigarette makes the smoke cleaner.
“Technically, yeah, maybe it is,” he conceded. “Practically, it’s irrelevant because health-care providers know that smoke is toxic and it’s going to hurt people, and it’s going to hurt people badly.”
Methane, the main component of natural gas, is a potent greenhouse gas, and emissions also can contain particulate matter and volatile organic compounds that form smog.
While Ketyer stresses that, ultimately, the best public health solution is to end reliance on fossil fuels, the means to drastically reduce emissions from the well pad to the home are available now.
“We have the ability, we have the technology, and it’s not terribly expensive for the industry to do everything they can to capture every cubic foot of methane,” explained Ketyer.
He adds that regulations are particularly important in states such as Pennsylvania where natural gas is produced, leading to much higher emission levels.
-Andrea Sears, Keystone State News Connection
These lands are Our Wild. Let’s keep them public.
The Robert Marshall Award is The Wilderness Society’s highest honor presented to a private citizen who has devoted long-term service and had a notable influence on conservation and the fostering of an American land ethic.
The award to Ms. Quimby reads:
National Invasive Species Awareness Week, February 27 – March 3, 2017, is a week to raise awareness and identify solutions to invasive species issues at local, state, tribal, regional, international and national scales.
Invasive species are one of the leading threats to native wildlife. Approximately 42% of Threatened or Endangered species are at risk primarily due to invasive species.
Human health and economies are also at risk from invasive species. The impacts of invasive species on our natural ecosystems and economy cost billions of dollars each year.
What makes a species invasive?
An invasive species can be any kind of living organism—an amphibian, plant, insect, fish, fungus, bacteria, or even an organism’s seeds or eggs—that is not native to an ecosystem and which causes harm.
Why do invasive species pose such a threat?
When a new and aggressive species is introduced into an ecosystem, it might not have any natural predators or controls. It can breed and spread quickly, taking over an area. Native wildlife may not have evolved defenses against the invader or they cannot compete with a species that has no predators.
To find out more about National Invasive Species Awareness Week, including events in your area, click here. To find out what you can do to help curb the spread of invasive species visit the National Wildlife Federation here.
Just over a month into his presidency, President Trump is expected to roll back Obama-era reforms aimed at ending coal company sweetheart deals and decreasing pollution from dirty coal production associated with the federal coal program.
The Chesapeake Bay Foundation 2017 Save the Bay Photo Contest is now accepting entries through March 24.
CBF is celebrating its 50th year and they want to see how you see the Chesapeake Bay and all its rivers and streams.
The contest is open to both amateur and professional photographers, and they are seeking photographs that illustrate the positive aspects of the Bay and its rivers and streams. All photos must include water from the Chesapeake Bay or a river, stream, creek, or other body of water inside the Chesapeake Bay watershed.
Official judging will be conducted by a panel of CBF employees who will judge entries on subject matter, composition, focus, lighting, uniqueness, and impact. The public will also be able to vote online for their favorite photo in the Viewers’ Choice Gallery.
The cash awards include: First Prize: $500; Second Prize: $250; Third Prize: $150; and Viewers’ Choice: $100.
In addition, the first-prize photograph will appear in CBF’s 2018 calendar. And that’s not all: All winners will also receive a one-year membership to CBF and will have their photos displayed on CBF’s website, in a CBF e-newsletter, and in CBF’s Save the Bay magazine.
For all the details and to submit entries, visit the 2017 Save the Bay Photo Contest webpage.