Face to Face With Oil and Gas
The oil and gas industry has become a major feature of the American landscape.
A vast network of wells, pipelines, compressor stations, processing facilities, and other infrastructure stretches across more than 20 states and brings millions of Americans into close contact with the industry — and its pollution.
The pollution caused by the oil and gas industry is associated with serious public health impacts.
These impacts affect a broad and diverse range of Americans; anyone living dozens, and even hundreds, of miles from oil and gas infrastructure. And these impacts add to the health burden of vulnerable populations: children, pregnant women, the elderly, as well as tribal land residents, African Americans, and Latinos.
Despite the grave dangers of this pollution, the Trump administration is working to undermine and eliminate pollution prevention rules that protect our families from the oil and gas industry’s harmful emissions.
This administration is effectively granting a license to pollute to an already-under-regulated industry.
Earlier this year, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke proposed changes to gut the commonsense Methane Waste Prevention Rule, a widely-supported safeguard aimed at preventing wasteful methane venting and flaring by the oil and gas industry on public and tribal lands.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is also working to dismantle similar oil and gas pollution safeguards known as the New Source Performance Standards. Former Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt proposed withdrawals and amendments with the goal of undermining safeguards that curb methane emissions and toxic pollution from 36,000 recently built or updated oil and gas wells across the country. There is no indication that his successor will stop these rollbacks.
12.4 million Americans live within a half mile of an active oil or gas well, compressor, or processor.
The derailment of these essential protections would allow the oil and gas industry to recklessly release millions of tons of methane and toxic pollutants into the air our families breathe, posing a serious threat to public health; methane pollution also gravely disrupts our climate, adding even more stress to public health.
This report builds on data and analysis from the Clean Air Task Force and Earthworks quantifying the health impacts of oil and gas operations across the US.
By sharing the perspectives of seven women from across the country living with this pollution, this report brings us face to face with the health impacts of the oil and gas industry.
The real life experiences of these women show the broad geographic scope of this pollution, how it affects many demographic groups in both urban and rural areas, and the importance of cleaning up the pollution — as well as the human impact of dismantling those pollution standards already in place.
To read more, please see the full PDF of this resource.