Oil and gas: How we're reducing harmful impacts

Natural gas – less damaging to our climate than coal in the long term – 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. We're working to make sure oil and gas are produced as safely as possible.


  • EDF lawyers Sean Donahue and Vickie Patt defending the Clean Air Act

    Advance and defend policies to reduce environmental risks

    Why: While the oil and gas industry has made strides to reduce methane pollution, it's not enough. We need to defend federal policies and advance state policies that protect our climate and environment.

    How: We're fighting for methane standards at state and federal levels.

  • Research the full impact of methane on the climate

    Research the full impact of methane on the climate

    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.

  • Use technology to find methane leaks

    Use technology to find methane leaks

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

    How: As we plan to develop a satellite designed to pinpoint methane emissions, we partner with Google Earth Outreach to find leaks under streets. We also created a design challenge for new detection tools.

  • Ensure safe water and air for communities at risk

    Ensure safe water and air for communities at risk

    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 credit: Flickr/facesoffracking

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