Pruitt Moves to Roll Back Oil & Gas Air Quality Protections

Statement from Matt Watson, Associate Vice President, Environmental Defense Fund Climate and Energy Program

March 1, 2018
Stacy MacDiarmid, (512) 691-3439,

(WASHINGTON– March 1, 2018) Today, the Trump Administration and EPA Administrator Pruitt issued a damaging proposal that would rescind clean air protections that help to reduce harmful smog-forming pollution from the oil and gas sector. EPA itself estimates that withdrawal of the CTGs could lead to approximately 64,000 tons of annual VOC pollution and 200,000 tons of annual methane pollution.

“This move would put an estimated 25 million people who live in counties with dangerously unhealthy air at even greater risk from oil and gas related air pollution by rolling back measures that are flexible, cost-effective and that have been proven to work by leading states and responsible companies.”

  • Matt Watson, Associate Vice President, Climate and Energy Program, Environmental Defense Fund


The oil and gas industry is the leading source of manmade Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), which are a key component of ground-level ozone, also known as smog. Smog is a dangerous air pollutant that can harm the respiratory system, aggravate asthma and other lung diseases, and is linked to early death from respiratory disease. Research has found that smog pollution from the oil and gas industry could be associated with an additional 750,000 summertime childhood asthma attacks across the country every year.

The measures EPA has now proposed to rescind—known as Control Techniques Guidelines (CTGs)—provide state and local air agencies with a blueprint of proven and cost-effective measures that can be used to reduce pollution from the oil and gas sector in areas that do not meet the ozone health standards. States can use these ready-made approaches or employ other state-specific solutions to help restore healthy air quality.

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