Spike in air pollution linked to drilling

“In the Colorado mountains, a spike in air pollution has been linked to a boom in oil and gas drilling. A thousand miles away on the plains of north Texas, there’s a drilling boom, too, but some air pollution levels have declined. Opponents of drilling point to Colorado and say it’s dangerous. Companies point to Texas and say drilling is safe.” [AP]

7 thoughts on “Spike in air pollution linked to drilling”

  1. Was anybody expecting an objective discussion of the situation? Seth Borenstein is the co-author of the article. Enough said!

  2. You are correct. The first paragraph confused me, clearly I did not read it attentively. However, most of my questions remain, except for the parts about the pollutants coming from Texas.

    I do know that EPA is blaming haze in National Parks on organic compound emissions that are up to 800 miles from the parks.

  3. Prevailing winds can “trap” pollution in Colorado due to atmospheric inversions (warmer air above cooler air) and concentrate it along the front range of the rockies. When weather patterns change, the pollution goes away with the winds.

  4. I have some unanswered questions.

    Has anyone ever measured the concentration of benzene and other petroleum tracer compounds in the air in Colorado?

    Has anyone measured a health-significant concentration of benzene? Have they demonstrated that the origin was in Texas, if they found any?

    Have they used their computer models to calculate that there should be some Texas benzene in Colorado and assumed that it is there?

    They claim to have found photochemical smog in the Colorado mountains now that drilling has increased in Texas. Did they do any monitoring before the drilling began to set a baseline.

    I point out that there was photochemical smog in the Appalachian Mountains when Europeans arrived in the area; that’s why we call it the “Blue Ridge”.

  5. The reason for the spike in air pollution in CO mountains is from all of the meth, crack and pot smoking in Vail and Aspen.

  6. Al Gore is a scientist now. Imagine that.
    It’s rough in Colorado because it’s cold. Happens every year in Wyoming near Pinedale. Texas remains fairly warm, so the effect is not measurable. As soon as it warms up, the “problem” goes away. The real problem is we can measure the effect in the cold and not where it’s warm. Actually, that’s a good thing since people would want to shut down all drilling if they could “see” the problem in Texas, too. Maybe we should make all these complainers move to cold climates and heat with solar and wind. 🙂

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