Danielle Smith, Producer
Monday, October 16, 2023
A new poll shows Pennsylvania voters are concerned about the environment and support the Environmental Protection Agency’s efforts to limit methane emissions from the oil and gas industry.
The oil and gas industry generates over $78 billion for the state’s gross domestic product.
Lois Bower-Bjornson, Southwestern Pennsylvania field organizer with the Clean Air Council, said Pennsylvania voters believe stricter regulations on methane emissions would improve both climate change and peoples’ well-being.
“Sixty percent of Pennsylvanians would like to see some regulations and rules put in place for the oil and gas industry to stop releasing methane at will,” said Bower-Bjornson. “And that, in turn will help us protect us as a species and our climate.”
Bower-Bjornson noted that the poll reveals two thirds of Pennsylvanians think climate change is a major problem, and that the U.S. government should do more to combat it.
Bower-Bjornson noted that the poll shows 56% of Pennsylvania voters agree that stronger limits on methane released at drilling sites would create more jobs, by encouraging innovation and investments in technology.
“You need people. You need boots on the ground to be at sites pretty much on – if not a daily basis, a weekly basis,” said Bower-Bjornson. “Checking to see what is leaking. That in itself is a job creator. And also it’s a job creator to have this reported to the proper governmental agency – so that we know what’s happening, so that the oil and gas industry is accountable for that.”
She emphasized that it’s important that Pennsylvanians in urban and rural communities work with elected officials to hold industries responsible for cutting methane and other harmful pollutants from oil and gas operations.