Energy Exchange

On pollution facts, don’t be fooled by rhetoric of oil and gas trade groups

Once again, a trade group funded by the oil and gas industry is trying to distort the facts on the industry’s pollution.

In a recent blog post, Texans for Natural Gas cherry picked government data in an attempt to argue against the need for policies that protect public health and the environment.

Posts like this – which take select pieces of data in order to make broad generalizations about industry’s progress toward reducing pollution – often fail to tell the whole story about the harmful emissions that warm the planet, jeopardize public health, and result in the massive waste of U.S. energy resources.

When reading industry-sponsored pollution assessments, there are a few crucial things to keep in mind.

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Also posted in Air Quality, Methane, Natural Gas / Comments are closed

Huge new Utah oil and gas project could have serious impacts on air quality

A proposal under review at the Bureau of Land Management to bring thousands more oil and gas wells to a region of Utah already struggling with unhealthy air could cause more pollution and more waste.

The Greater Chapita Wells Project Area is slated to bring nearly 3,000 new wells to the state’s Uintah basin – an area the Environmental Protection Agency recently designated as having harmful levels of ozone.

Ozone, commonly known as smog, can trigger asthma attacks and other health concerns. Recent research suggests emissions from oil and gas facilities are the leading cause of the region’s ozone pollution problem.

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Also posted in Air Quality, Natural Gas / Comments are closed

American people speak loud and clear on Zinke’s proposal to gut the BLM methane rule

Over the past months more than 400,000 Americans weighed in on a proposal by Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke to gut the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Methane and Natural Gas Waste Prevention Rule. And more than 98 percent of the comments received urged BLM to keep the strong rule in place to force oil and gas operators to crack down on waste and pollution when profiting from the public’s natural resources. Now that’s a landslide!

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Also posted in Methane, Natural Gas / Comments are closed

What ALA’s most recent State of the Air Report reveals about oil and gas air pollution in the Western U.S.

The American Lung Association released its annual State of the Air Report today, revealing what many communities have known for quite some time: air pollution from oil and gas operations is a growing concern.

Air pollution has often been a challenge for highly-populated areas of the United States, but it is an issue rural communities have largely been able to avoid. However, that seems to be changing according to the ALA’s findings.  La Plata County in Colorado and Duchesne and Uintah counties in Utah all received an “F” grade due to high levels of ozone.  None has a population over 60,000 people, but each is home to significant amounts of oil and gas production.

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Also posted in Air Quality, Colorado, Natural Gas, New Mexico, Wyoming / Comments are closed

Fighting for the planet, one methane comment at a time

When a kid knocks at your door, you might expect a Girl Scout selling cookies or a Boy Scout selling popcorn. But recently, it was my 13 year-old neighbor, Pete Bates, asking me to sign a letter to fight methane pollution. I thought this was pretty neat, because while my day-to-day job is focused on reducing this pollution, it’s a pretty niche topic. That’s why I was so pleased to see Pete was interested in this topic and thought it was something worth getting engaged about.

These days, with the Trump administration’s constant attacks on our climate and clean air, it can be easy to be pessimistic. Hearing about Pete’s effort to make a difference gives me hope. I’m sure Pete and his generation will make the future bright, because they’ve already started.

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Also posted in Methane, Natural Gas, Texas / Comments are closed

New regional emissions study offers insights into New Mexico’s oil and gas emissions problems

A new study from the Western Regional Air Partnership — a collaboration of state, tribal, and local air agencies, the Environmental Protection Agency, federal land managers, and other local stakeholders — finds methane emissions from New Mexico’s oil and gas facilities are higher than previous estimates and notes regulations could help address the problem.

The research draws on data reported by states, tribes, and the oil and gas industry, and finds oil and gas companies emitted 816,980 tons of methane and smog-forming pollution in 2014 – significantly more than what the industry reported to the EPA.

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Also posted in Methane, Natural Gas, New Mexico / Comments are closed