November 9, 2022

Dear Mr. President,

Our organizations– which collectively represent millions of people across the country and around the world– are dedicated to fighting for a cleaner and healthier future for our planet. We are grateful for your leadership over the last two years to tackle the climate crisis head on– advocating for policies that prioritize environmental justice, public health, and polluter accountability while prioritizing the creation of quality, family-sustaining jobs. At the same time, we are deeply concerned that the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) draft methane rules to address methane pollution and waste, as well as other harmful air pollutants from new and existing oil and gas operations, have not yet been published. We are writing to you today to urge you to release the draft proposal for comment no later than the end of the 27th Conference of the Parties (COP27). Avoiding further delay is critical to move communities, workers and our climate one step closer to realizing the benefits of cutting methane emissions.

As your administration acknowledged early on, cutting methane pollution and waste from the oil and gas industry is the quickest, most cost-effective way to slow the rate of climate change happening now and protect communities and the environment from the worst effects of extreme weather.

Moreover, a recent study found that if we captured the methane that escapes through leaks, flaring, and intentional venting at U.S. oil and gas sites, we could meet half of the gas supply the US committed to Europe without having to increase drilling activity. Unfortunately, Europe’s overdependence on Russian gas and natural gas infrastructure more broadly will likely lead to a brutal and harsh winter for Europeans. It is unconscionable that U.S. companies would then waste domestic resources against the backdrop of this crisis.

Any further delay in releasing the draft plan will exacerbate the harm caused by methane pollution, which has more than 80 times the warming power of carbon dioxide over its first 20 years in the atmosphere. Methane pollution from oil and gas development is released alongside dangerous pollution, such as cancer-causing volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and air toxics like benzene. VOCs can also worsen asthma and respiratory disease and cause immune system damage, and developmental problems. These negative health outcomes tend to disproportionately affect low-income and Black, brown, and Indigenous communities who have become sacrifice zones for the toxic impacts of oil and gas operations. About 17.3 million people live within a half mile of an active oil and gas well, including 1.6 million Hispanic people; 919,000 Black people; 311,400 Asian people; and 260,000 Native American people.

We appreciate the steps your administration has taken towards achieving the strongest possible safeguards against methane pollution. Now as we approach COP27, we urge you to move forward as swiftly as possible to finalize these rules. Your administration has the opportunity to take common-sense measures to address methane pollution from the oil and gas sector while making good on your public health, economic, climate, and environmental justice commitments–including cutting climate pollution in half by 2030.

There is no time to waste. Every day that goes by without the strongest possible EPA safeguards in place to protect communities from oil and gas pollution is one day too many. Moreover, maximally protective methane safeguards would provide other critical benefits like creating hundreds of thousands of new jobs and limiting energy waste during a time of rising energy prices and the ongoing war in Ukraine. Releasing the supplemental proposal before or during COP27 will demonstrate the momentum behind U.S. climate commitments and help protect our communities and the climate.

Families are counting on strong and comprehensive supplemental methane rules from EPA both to follow through on key commitments included in last year’s proposed rule and improve upon it by addressing critical gaps. As such, the forthcoming draft rule must:

– Require regular inspections at small wells with leak-prone equipment which are responsible for half of all methane emission nationwide;

– Eliminate pollution from the wasteful practice of routine venting and flaring;

– Establish a community monitoring program and work to incorporate data generated by community groups; and

– Include a requirement that pneumatic devices at wells and compressor stations have a zero-emission standard.

Please ensure that strong draft methane rules are proposed no later than the end of COP27 to protect public health and climate and demonstrate to the world that the U.S. is serious about cutting methane emissions. We’re running out of time and we need your leadership now more than ever.


350 Colorado
Accelerate Neighborhood Climate Action
Call to Action Colorado
Carbon Advocacy Project
Center for Civic Policy
Center for Methane Emissions Solutions
Change the Chamber*Lobby for Climate
Citizens Caring for the Future
Citizens for Pennsylvania’s Future (PennFuture)
Citizens’Alliance for a Sustainable Englewood
Clean Air Council
Clean Air Task Force
Clean Water Action
CLEO Institute
Climate Action Campaign
Climate Advocates Voces Unidas (CAVU)
Coalition for Environment, Equity, and
Colorado Businesses for a Livable Climate
Colorado Community Rights Network
Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition
Colorado Jewish Climate Action
Colorado Small Business Alliance
Commission Shift
Community for Sustainable Energy
Conservation Voters New Mexico
Conservatives for Responsible Stewardship
Dakota Resource Council
Defend Our Future
Detroit Green Skills Alliance
Environment Texas
Environmental Defense Fund
Environmental Health Project
Environmental Law & Policy Center
Evangelical Environmental Network
Evergreen Action
Greater Edwards Aquifer Alliance
Greater Park Hill Community
Green House Connection Center
Health Action New Mexico
Healthy Air & Water Colorado
Healthy Gulf
Hispanic Access Foundation
I-70/Vasquez Citizens Advisory Group
Indivisible Ambassadors
Interfaith Power & Light
League of Conservation Voters
Liveable Arlington
Mayfair Park Neighborhood Association Board
Mental Health & Inclusion Ministries
Methane Action
Mi Familia Vota
Michigan Sustainable Business Forum
Moms Clean Air Force
Montbello Neighborhood Improvement
Mormon Environmental Stewardship Alliance
Mothers Out Front Colorado
Mountain Mamas
National Parks Conservation Association
National Wildlife Federation
Natural Resources Defense Council
New Mexico Environmental Law Center
New Mexico Interfaith Power and Light
New Mexico Sportsmen
New Mexico Voices for Children
North Range Concerned Citizens
Ohio Environmental Council
Oxfam America
PA Jewish Earth Alliance
Physicians for Social Responsibility Colorado
Physicians for Social Responsibility
ProgressNow New Mexico
Public Land Solutions
Rio Grande Indivisible, NM
Rio Grande International Study Center
Rocky Mountain Farmers Union
Santa Fe Green Chamber of Commerce
Save EPA
Sierra Club
Sisters of Mercy of the Americas Justice Team
Southwest Organization for Sustainability
Spirit of the Sun
Sunnyside United Neighbors, Inc (SUNI)
System Change Not Climate Change
The Wilderness Society
Together Against Neighborhood Drilling
Together Colorado
Unite North Metro Denver
University of Northern Colorado Earth
Guardians Crew
Vibrant Littleton
Wall of Women
Waterkeeper Alliance
Western Colorado Alliance
Western Environmental Law Center
Western Leaders Network
Western Organization of Resource Councils
Wilwerding Consulting and Littleton Business
Womxn from the Mountain
Working for Racial Equity
Wyoming Outdoor Council
Young Evangelicals for Climate Action

John Podesta, Senior Advisor to the President for Clean Energy Innovation and Implementation

Ali Zaidi, Assistant to the President and National Climate Advisor

Michael S. Regan, Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Joseph Goffman, Principal Deputy Assistant Administrator Performing Delegated Duties of Assistant
Administrator in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Air and Radiation

Peter Tsirigotis Director, Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards in the U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency’s Office of Air and Radiation

Tomás Elias Carbonell, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Stationary Source in the U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency’s Office of Air and Radiation