Monthly Archives: July 2023

New health study shows cost of oil and gas pollution in Appalachia

By John Rutecki

Earlier this summer, EDF, Boston University School of Public Health, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Institute for the Environment  and PSE Healthy Energy published a peer-reviewed study that quantified the health impacts of oil and gas pollution, both in dollar value and human lives. The study found that in 2016 alone, pollution from oil and gas production caused $77 billion in health damages across the U.S and thousands of early deaths. Appalachian states had some of the highest health damage rates, especially on a per capita basis. Across Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia there were over 1,000 deaths from oil and gas pollution, with some of the highest rates of childhood asthma exacerbations in the country.

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Posted in Air Quality, Jobs, Methane, Ohio / Authors: / Comments are closed

Without action, unreported methane pollution from Saskatchewan could threaten Canada’s climate goals and create more fallout from climate change

Burning trees in a forest

By Ari Pottens and Scott Seymour

It’s no secret that the rampant, out-of-control wildfires which are devastating parts of Canada and creating toxic air quality conditions for millions of people, are exacerbated by climate change. This makes it all the more crucial to rapidly reduce the greenhouse gases behind the climate crisis.

In 2020, Canada’s federal government implemented new regulations to stem the methane emitted from the oil and gas industry — the leading source of methane in the country. The  protections were intended to help cut emissions by 40% – 45% by 2025. Subsequently, the federal government significantly increased its methane ambition and set a 75% reduction goal by 2030.

But a new study is revealing some problems with the way Saskatchewan is managing emissions from a very specific type of oil production known as Cold Heavy Oil Production with Sand. It just so happens that a lot of gas, most of which is methane,  also comes out during this process. Read More »

Posted in Air Quality, Climate, Methane, Methane regulatons / Tagged | Authors: / Comments are closed

Landmark study reveals that millions of Americans live less than a mile from an orphaned oil and gas well

By Adam Peltz & Kate Roberts

This week, the Department of the Interior announced nearly $660 million in grant funding to plug orphan wells across the U.S., adding to $560 million in initial funding from last summer. The news comes on the heels of new research led by researchers at McGill University and EDF experts that quantifies the extent of the orphan well problem this funding will begin to tackle.

The study found that at least 4.6 million people are living within about a half mile of an orphaned oil and gas well. Published in June 2023 in Environmental Research Letters, the study examined the environmental risks of orphaned wells and how plugging or repurposing wells could play a role in the transition to net zero. An additional key finding is that many essential technical details about this well set, like depth and condition, and environmental impacts, including methane emission rates and whether they have caused groundwater contamination, are largely unknown.

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Posted in Air Quality, Methane regulatons / Authors: / Comments are closed