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Methane rule is good for the climate, taxpayers

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Dear Editor:

It's good to see Senator Michael Bennet and Representatives Polis and DeGette joining a letter from congressional leaders to urge that the U.S. Department of Interior Bureau of Land Management (BLM) keep its methane rule in place. This rule, recently upheld in court, protects American taxpayers as well as our clean air.

Methane, of course, is a super-potent greenhouse gas contributing to human-driven climate change. Venting it from oil and gas operations often includes other harmful releases as well. That's bad for climate, bad for air quality, and can adversely impact public health. And the waste is costing American taxpayers tens of millions in lost revenue. This is a wasted resource and lost money that should be benefiting the public, not causing further harm to our shared environment.

So, it's good to see this congressional letter. But it is curious where western Colorado's congressman is? Also missing? Senator Cory Gardner. Even if they doubt climate science the economics are clear --- BLM itself admits the waste costs more than $1 billion in pollution and wasted natural gas according to recent reports. Of course, climate change is real, and the science is unequivocal. This is another reason that real leadership requires action.

The BLM methane rule is good for climate and the environment. It's good for taxpayers. It's just good stewardship and good sense. Rep. Tipton and Sen. Gardner should support keeping the methane rule in place and join with their colleagues in urging that Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke and the BLM do just that.

Pete Kolbenschlag
Paonia

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