New project focuses on human impacts of oil and gas operations

February 17, 2016

oil and gas drilling, public health

PRESS RELEASELiving with Oil and Gas
A New Project by the Western Organization of Resource Councils

Ever wonder what it’s like to be neighbors with oil and gas?

Just ask Donny Nelson, a fourth-generation farmer and rancher, who lives at ground zero for oil and gas drilling in North Dakota.

WORC Keene“We’ve had oil on our ranch since the fifties … there’s many things about flaring. Number one is– what a waste. I mean, it just makes absolutely no sense to waste a one-time resource. The other thing is, who knows what the health problems will be down the road? … There’s certainly gotta be some health impacts, because we know what’s coming out of them … you don’t go out and look at the stars. You sit and look at the skyline lighted up by flares.” — Donny Nelson, Keene, North Dakota

Meet Kristi Mogen. Her husband and parents worked in the oilfield.

WORC kristimogen“The first thing was the blowout … Then, the flares started, flares that shook our house, smelled bad, and kept us and the livestock up all night.” — Kristi Mogen, Douglas, Wyoming

These stories are just two among many more. Too often, these stories go unheard. WORC’s new social media project, Living with Oil and Gas, aims to tell those stories.

Living with Oil and Gas shares the experiences — in their own words — of farmers, ranchers, landowners, Native Americans, and community members across the West who live with the impacts of oil and gas development. The project focuses, in particular, on those affected by the venting, flaring, and leaking of methane and other oil and gas air emissions.

To hear more from Donny and Kristi, and from others like them, follow along with the project on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and on the project’s website.

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is proposing new standards for federal and tribal oil and gas resources that would:

  • Reduce drilling-related air pollution,
  • Decrease the waste of natural gas, and
  • Increase royalty revenues for both state and tribal governments.

However, although the BLM has proposed important reforms, standards should be stronger by improving

  • Leak detection and repair requirements,
  • Control of methane emissions from oil and gas infrastructure,
  • Regulation of flaring, and
  • Enforcement of the rules.

Each year, oil and gas operations waste enough taxpayer-owned natural gas to heat Denver. If captured, this natural gas would be worth more than $330 million.

Instead, it’s burned or vented into the atmosphere, or lost through leaks. And toxic pollutants contaminate the air — increasing asthma and other health problems.

Act now and urge the BLM to further cut waste and pollution from federal and tribal oil and gas development.

Send your comments today from the Action Page.

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