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.
In September 2018, the Bureau of Land Management finalized a new rule that stripped away safeguards from the 2016 Methane Waste Prevention Rule, a widely-supported rule aimed at preventing wasteful methane venting and flaring by the oil and gas industry on public and tribal lands. The original 2016 rule had the additional benefit of reducing air pollution that contributes to climate change and smog.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is also working to dismantle similar oil and gas pollution safeguards known as the New Source Performance Standards. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler is proposing to weaken and eliminate protections that curb methane emissions and toxic pollution from 36,000 recently built or updated oil and gas wells across the country.
14 million Americans live within a half mile of an active oil or gas well, compressor, or processor.
The derailment of these essential protections allows 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 threatening public health with the grave impacts of climate change.
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 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 that protect public health and our changing climate.
To read more, please see the full PDF of this resource.