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Baldwin, Warren, Blunt Rochester, Underwood, & Colleagues Highlight Dangerous New EPA Methane Rule

Letter Highlights How the Dangerous Rollback Increases Maternal Health Risks

WASHINGTON, D.C.Today, U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin joins her colleagues Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Representatives Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-DE) and Lauren Underwood (D-IL), on a letter to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler expressing their deep concern with a new rule which would weaken the EPA’s ability to limit dangerous methane pollution from the oil and gas sector. The letter also highlighted the link between dangerous methane emissions and the impact on maternal health risks, particularly for Black women.

“This rollback not only comes at a time when our country is battling a global health pandemic, but it also comes amidst growing evidence linking climate change and exposure to air pollution with maternal health risks. Research shows that pregnant women exposed to high temperatures and air pollution have a higher risk of giving birth to children who are premature, underweight, or stillborn,” the Members wrote. “Preterm births are associated with higher rates of infant deaths and can lead to adverse health outcomes like breathing problems, developmental delays, and cerebral palsy. What’s more, research shows that these risks are significantly higher for Black mothers and babies than the population at large. EPA’s recent rollback will increase planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions and local air pollution, exacerbating these disproportionate health impacts on women of color.”

The letter was also signed by Senators Richard Durbin (D-IL), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Michael Bennett (D-CO), Edward J. Markey (D-MA), Tom Carper (D-DE) and Representatives Brenda L. Lawrence (D-MI), Nanette Diaz Barragán (D-CA), Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ), Bobby L. Rush (D-IL),  Debbie Dingell (D-MI), Jahana Hayes (D-CT), Katie Porter (D-CA), Alcee L. Hastings (D-FL), Grace F. Napolitano (D-CA), Jamie Raskin (D-MD), Deb Haaland (D-NM),  Gwen S. Moore (D-WI), Steve Cohen (D-TN), Joseph P. Kennedy (D-MA), Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), Michael F.Q. San Nicolas (D-Guam), Tony Cárdenas (D-CA), Kathy Castor (D-FL), and Jan Schakowsky (D-IL).

Baldwin is also a co-sponsor of Senator Kamala Harris’s (D-CA) Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act, Senator Cory Booker’s (D-NJ) MOMMIES Act, which aim to combat the United States’ urgent maternal health crisis and improve maternal health outcomes.

The full letter is available here.