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More bad air news from natural gas drilling operations around the country

Amy Mall

Posted February 18, 2011

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There is a lot of news this week about the dangerous air pollution being generated by natural gas production sites around the country:

  • According to an article in Land Letter, air quality monitors in northeast Utah's Uintah Basin recorded more than a dozen violations of the federal ground-level ozone standard in the first six weeks of 2011.
  • Recent air testing funded by the City of Fort Worth (in the Barnett Shale area of Texas) found high levels of carbon disulfide at three different drilling sites near schools in the city. University of Texas professor Melanie Sattler conducted dispersion modeling based on the test results and found that the air toxics could travel as far as two miles away from the well sites. The Fort Worth League of Neighborhoods has developed recommendations based on the findings, including a recommendation that natural gas wells must be at least one mile from a school to protect children's health. 
  • and related dispersion modeling conducted by the Fort Worth League of Neighborhoods Association, According to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, at very high levels, carbon disulfide may be life-threatening because of its effects on the nervous system. People who breathed carbon disulfide showed changes in breathing and some chest pains. Studies in animals indicate that carbon disulfide can affect normal functions of the brain, liver, and heart, as well as cause newborn deaths and birth defects.
  • Earlier this week the ozone level in Boulder, Wyoming reached a 1-hour average late in the day of 106 parts per billion (ppb). The current ozone limit is 75 ppb average over 8 hours, so this level did not violate the rules, but it is alarming.
  • Earlier this week the State of Colorado issued the first ever ozone alerts for western Rio Blanco County -- an area with fewer than 3,000 residents.
  • According to a comment posted on my blog, the Upper Green River Valley of Wyoming had 5 hours of ozone exceedences during an 8 hour running time earlier this week.

There is a wealth of evidence that natural gas producers can capture harmful air emissions with readily available and affordable equipment. A gaping loophole in the Clean Air Act that gives special treatment to oil and gas producers allows them to avoid complying with the same clean air standards by which other industries must abide. It is time to close the Clean Air Act loophole for oil and gas producers and help clean up the air in these communities.

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Jonathan ChanceFeb 23 2011 09:54 AM

United States Renewable Energy Credits (US RECs)

The 2010 Constitution of the United States of America


Article 26.

26.1 - United States renewable energy credits and United States peak renewable energy credits shall be directly issued to individual United States Citizens, age sixteen years or more, who are owners of publicly certified renewable energy systems.

26.2 - US renewable energy credits and US peak renewable energy credits shall be lawful tender for any and all claims of legitimate debt, public and private, exempting lawful voluntary transactions among individual human persons in the currency or currencies of their choice.

26.3 - One US renewable energy credit represents twenty kilowatt-hours of certified renewable energy produced in the United States.

26.4 - One US peak renewable energy credit represents ten kilowatt-hours of certified grid-tied peak-demand photovoltaic electricity produced in the United States.

26.5 - Energy for US renewable energy credits shall be derived only from publicly certified environmentally benign sources, including appropriate photovoltaic systems, grid-tied solar-thermal electric systems, grid-tied solar water heating systems, grid-tied wind power systems, grid-tied hydroelectric systems, grid-tied closed-loop geothermal systems, cellulosic ethanol, and organic vegetable oil.

26.6 - Other than the Sun's radiation, a minimum of ninety-five percent of physical natural resources, materials, components, and other direct manufacturing costs contributing toward US renewable energy credits shall be produced in the United States.

26.7 - The Treasury shall issue no more than three thousand US renewable energy credits per month to each individual Citizen energy-system owner, age sixteen years or more.

26.8 - US renewable energy credits shall be taxable at a total rate no higher than fifteen percent to be shared equally among the County, State, and Federal governance of the locations where the certified renewable energy is derived.

26.9 - US renewable energy credits shall be fully redeemable within these United States for any and all public and private claims of legitimate debt denominated in any currency, including stocks and bonds, issued by any private or public central bank, corporation, limited-liability entity, private trust, holding company, nation, state, or other similar institution, exempting lawful voluntary transactions among individual human persons in the currency or currencies of their choice.


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