Overview

In the US, the oil and gas industry is the leading source of anthropogenic methane–a powerful greenhouse gas–and of numerous health-damaging air pollutants. Over the past decade, research on oil and gas emissions has rapidly accelerated, substantially increasing our understanding of what, where, when, and how these emissions occur across the entire oil and gas supply chain.

Existing research provides evidence that methane and health-damaging air pollutants are emitted from every sector of the oil and gas supply chain, however, these types of emissions are often studied separately. To better understand the overlap between sources of methane and health-damaging air pollutants, we conducted a systematic review of scientific peer-reviewed literature published between January 2015 and August 2020. Researchers provide a supplemental review of research on methane and health-damaging air pollutants spanning 2010-2014 in the appendix.

Methane and Health-Damaging Air Pollutants from the Oil and Gas Sector: Bridging 10 Years of Scientific Understanding provides insights on the climate and public health dimensions of emissions from the upstream, midstream, and downstream sectors of the oil and gas industry—from wellhead to homes. Researchers identify characteristics of sources of both types of emissions, highlight high-impact approaches to emission control, and provide guidance on how to prioritize emission control based on climate and public health.

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Authors

Drew R. Michanowicz, DrPH, MPH, CPH1,2, Eric D. Lebel, PhD1, Jeremy K. Domen, MS1, Lee Ann L. Hill, MPH1, Jessie M. Jaeger, MPH, MCP1, Jessica E. Schiff, SM1, 3, Elena M. Krieger, PhD1, Zoya Banan, PhD1, Jackson S.W. Goldman, BS1, Curtis L. Nordgaard, MD, MSc1, Seth B.C. Shonkoff, PhD, MPH1, 5, 6.

1 PSE Healthy Energy, Oakland, CA

2 C-CHANGE, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, MA

3 Department of Environmental Health, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, MA

4 South Coast Air Quality Management District, Los Angeles, CA

5 Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA

6 Energy Technologies Area, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, CA

*Photo citation: Ted Auch, FracTracker Alliance, 2018.