Oil and gas: How we're reducing harmful impacts

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Click to see the five areas of concern we’re working on.

Natural gas—which in the long term is less damaging to our climate than coal—is an important fuel source as we work toward a cleaner energy future.

However, if produced irresponsibly, it creates serious environmental and health risks, and wastes a valuable energy resource. To reduce these impacts, we’re working to make sure oil and gas are produced as safely as possible.

Our oil and gas initiatives

  • Calculating the full climate impact of natural gas

    Calculate the full climate impact of natural gas

    Why: Uncombusted natural gas is mostly methane, which is much more potent than carbon dioxide. Until recently, no one knew how much of it was leaking into the air.

    How: We are leading the effort to measure leaks across the supply chain, which will help us find practical solutions.

  • Harness technology to fight methane pollution

    Harness technology to fight methane pollution

    Why: Methane is colorless and odorless, making it hard to detect leaks. Emerging sensor technologies are making the job easier.

    How: We partner with Google Earth Outreach to find and map leaks in pipelines under streets. To spur innovators to create cutting-edge detection tools, we launched a design challenge.

  • Push for tough regulations to reduce climate risks

    Push for common-sense policies to reduce environmental risks

    Why: While the oil and gas industry has made strides to reduce methane pollution, national policy is needed to protect our climate and environment.

    How: We’re fighting for methane standards at the state and federal levels, and we need your help: Tell EPA you support strong rules.

    Photo: Dennis Schroeder
  • Ensure safe water and air for local communities

    Ensure safe water and air for local communities

    Why: People who live near oil and gas operations are at an increased risk of exposure to contaminated groundwater and air pollution.

    How: We’re fighting for diligent oversight of wastewater disposal to minimize groundwater contamination. We’re also seeking broad clean air protections.

    Photo: Flickr/facesoffracking

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Our experts

Mark Brownstein
Mark Brownstein
Vice President, Climate and Energy

Ramon Alvarez
Ramon Alvarez
Associate Chief Scientist

Scott Anderson
Scott Anderson
Senior Policy Director, US Climate and Energy Program

Media contact

  • Stacy MacDiarmid
    (512) 691-3439 (office)
    (512) 658-2265 (cell)

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