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Trump case expected to head to the jury today; IN food banks concerned about draft Farm Bill; NH parents, educators urge veto of anti-LGBTQ+ bills; Study shows a precipitous drop in migratory fish populations, in US and worldwide.

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Actor Robert DeNiro joins Capitol Police officers to protest against Donald Trump at his New York hush money trial as both sides make closing arguments. And the Democratic Party moves to make sure President Biden will be on the ballot in Ohio.

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Smokey Bear thought only "you" could prevent forest fires, but decomposing mushrooms may also help, a Native American community in Oregon is achieving healthcare sovereignty, and Colorado farmers hope fast-maturing, drought-tolerant seeds will better handle climate change.

Ohio stands to gain from EPA's new methane rules

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Tuesday, December 19, 2023   

The Environmental Protection Agency is clamping down on methane emissions, a harmful pollutant and driver of climate change Appalachian communities are exposed to at higher levels.

Methane is the single largest greenhouse gas source in the U.S., now generating more pollutants even than the nation's shrinking coal industry. The regulations address natural gas processing and transportation, where the vast bulk of methane is released into communities.

Sean O'Leary, senior researcher for the Ohio River Valley Institute, said Ohio communities are bearing the brunt of constant methane exposure.

"There are a ton of local health-related issues, having to do with emissions of local pollutants that have really deleterious effects on public health, for conditions ranging from respiratory conditions to cancer," O'Leary outlined.

The new rules come at a time when the state also faces increased risk of extreme weather events from climate change. In a statement, the American Petroleum Institute, said "to be truly effective, this rule must balance emissions reductions with the need to continue meeting rising energy demand."

O'Leary added concerns remain about how the regulations will be enforced, and what methodologies will be used to measure emissions.

"Where will they be measured? How frequently, how rigorously?" O'Leary asked. "And then, what measures will be taken then, to correct situations where those levels are exceeded?"

An expanded methane regulation market could potentially lead to new jobs in Ohio. According to the BlueGreen Alliance, made up of labor unions and environmental groups, more than 10,000 jobs could be created nationwide annually over the next decade with stronger efforts to curb methane emissions.

Disclosure: The Ohio River Valley Institute contributes to our fund for reporting on Budget Policy and Priorities, Climate Change/Air Quality, Energy Policy, and Public Lands/Wilderness. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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