This week marks the 49th anniversary of the passage of the Clean Water Act, our landmark Federal water protection law. In 1972, the Act set a goal of eliminating pollution in our rivers, lakes, streams and bays by 1985. While we’ve made a lot of progress toward this goal, we are certainly not there.
The oil and gas industry wields enormous political power. Massive spending on elections and lobbying, a relentless spin machine and agency capture at all levels of government have given fossil fuel companies outsized influence on our political, legislative and regulatory processes.
These cuts won’t just mean that EPA is doing less to protect our water, they also hit state and local governments and drinking water systems hard. States where Clean Water Action works would lose out on federal funding, leaving taxpayers and ratepayers holding the bag.
To stave off the worst effects of the climate crisis, the global and U.S. economies need to decarbonize as fast as possible. Capturing carbon emissions from industrial sources and pulling carbon out of the air via direct air capture are technologies we will likely need in our toolbox if we are to achieve net zero or negative greenhouse gas emissions.
New analysis finds big impacts in oil producing states
Last week EPA held a public meeting in DC to share updates and take public comment on the agency’s study of oil and gas wastewater, also known as produced water. The oil and gas industry has grown significantly in water constrained states around the country, like Texas and New Mexico, and has a long history of putting drinking water sources at risk, from California to Pennsylvania.
California’s efforts to address climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions have earned it a reputation as a climate leader. Most of the state’s actions, however, have focused on the “demand-side” of carbon emissions: reducing energy consumption, increasing efficiency, using cleaner fuels and energy sources, and reducing vehicle miles traveled. However, as the country’s 5th largest oil producer (recently falling from 3rd), the state has never done enough to keep polluting fossil fuels from being produced in the first place.
What's behind the recent headlines on California groundwater? Does a new study suggest the problem is solved, and that we can all go home? Er...no!
If you’re not looking for anything you’ll never find it. This has held true when it comes to contamination from oil and gas production in California for the last century. But the era of regulators ignoring the industry’s groundwater impacts needs to end.
Assembly Bill 1882, introduced by Assemblymember Das Williams, takes an important step by requiring water regulators to monitor our precious aquifers for pollution caused by the oil and gas injection wells.