For the past 11 years I have advocated regulations to curb oil and gas pollution. Oil and gas pollution hurts communities like mine by degrading our air quality and contributing to manmade climate change.

During the Obama administration, I worked with frontline communities to push the administration to significantly cut methane emissions (pollution) from the oil and gas industry. Our effort culminated with the 2016 “methane standards,” which provided protections for communities like mine (Fort Berthold), while also cutting harmful climate change causing methane emissions. Unfortunately, these regulations were short-lived. The Trump administration went on to work to roll back all the regulations we worked hard to pass. Luckily, through the efforts of a national coalition, we kept most of the Trump rollbacks at bay, which brings me to today.

Now is the best opportunity to get protections in place that protect frontline communities like Fort Berthold from harmful oil and gas pollution. The Biden administration has shown a commitment to making this happen, but the jury is still out on what they will do. In addition, many oil and gas companies like Exxon, BP and others are supportive of federal regulations curbing oil and gas pollution and showed that by opposing a 2020 attempt by the Trump administration to roll back the 2016 methane rules.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will be starting rulemaking to strengthen the federal methane standards in the next few months. I, along with many others, will be calling upon the EPA to cut methane emissions by 65% below 2012 levels by 2025. I urge anyone in North Dakota who is concerned about oil and gas pollution and the climate to join me in urging the EPA to pass a rule that cuts methane emissions (oil and gas pollution) by 65% below 2012 levels by 2025.

DeVille is the founder of Fort Berthold Protectors of Water and Earth Rights (POWER).