Dangerous methane pollution: what you won’t see at Trump’s oil & gas event is a health and climate crisis

Background: President Trump’s failure to protect the health of Americans and fight the climate crisis will be on full display tomorrow in Texas when he stands before oil and gas operations while celebrating his administration’s efforts that allow companies to pollute more. But photos and video of the President won’t capture the invisible methane and health hazardous air pollution spewing from Permian oil and gas operations that threaten health and fuel the climate crisis. Earthworks’ documentation of oil and gas air pollution provides unique insight into the extent of the methane problem in the United States.

Statement of Earthworks Board Member and resident in West Texas, Reverend Gene Collins:

“Unfortunately, President Trump seems to have already decided to eliminate rules needed to protect communities like mine, and that’s a problem because people down here are in desperate need of protection. When the President comes to West Texas, he needs to talk not only to the oil and gas operators but to people whose health and quality of life are affected by industry.

“We would tell the President to not ignore the science. In Texas alone, children suffer over 144,000 asthma attacks a year due to oil and gas pollution.

“We would also tell the President that we need to join in with the rest of the world to address the climate crisis, because the pollution in West Texas doesn’t just hurt my community but threatens communities everywhere.”

Additional Resources

  • Standing media availability: Earthworks Board Member Reverend Gene Collins, Earthworks certified thermographer Sharon Wilson, and other Texas residents impacted by oil and gas.

  • Optical Gas Images of Permian oil and gas pollution documented by Earthworks’ certified Thermographers. [Dropbox links for media use with credit to Earthworks]

  • New York Times investigation of methane pollution in Texas from December 2019.

  • PermianMap.org:  Data collected by the Environmental Defense Fund and researcher partners show oil and gas operations are leaking nearly three times more methane than official estimates suggest.

  • Oilandgasthreadmap.org: Mapping of locations for oil and gas facilities and corresponding health impacts on residents and students in Texas and across the United States.

  • “The Permian climate bomb”, an Earthworks blog detailing the existential threat from extraction in the shale basin and how a return to aggressive pre-COVID industrial expansion would mean climate disaster for the whole world.

  • “The Shale Bubble is Bursting. Let it., an Earthworks blog on how the oil and gas industry was teetering toward financial failure before the Covid-19 pandemic but then took advantage of a national emergency with the help of the Trump Administration.

  • ExxonMobilShellBP, and Equinor statements opposing Trump’s rollbacks and in support of national safeguards.