Justin Wasser, 202-887-1872×136, firstname.lastname@example.org
Earlier this week the American Petroleum Institute sent a letter to the White House requesting exemptions from regulatory oversight during the COVID crisis. The Western Energy Alliance and the New Mexico Oil and Gas Association are requesting suspensions on oversight and compliance from the Department of Interior.
“During a public health crisis, it’s obscene for oil and gas industry trade associations to suggest that its members shouldn’t have to comply with oversight intended to protect the public. But that’s what the Western Energy Alliance and the New Mexico Oil and Gas Association are requesting from government.
“The COVID crisis may be new, but there’s nothing new about the oil and gas industry’s desire for weak oversight. Industry lobbied hard against climate and health safeguards before this global pandemic and economic downturn, and they will do so after.
“Less oversight means more oil and gas pollution, and that puts nearby residents at further risk at a time when the COVID outbreak has reached every state and is particularly dangerous for people already suffering from respiratory conditions.
“A government of the people, by the people, for the people should protect the people, not the polluters.” — Earthworks’ Energy Program Director Bruce Baizel
FOR MORE INFORMATION
- On March 26th, the EPA has issued a guidance memo assuring industry that it will not seek penalties for violations and granting permission for operators to forego compliance for numerous pollution protections.
- Background on Community Empowerment Project and OGI FLIR camera used by Earthworks’ certified Thermographers.
- E&E News: “Interior under pressure to ease enforcement on public lands” (paywalled), March 26, 2020