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Smog from gas and oil emissions will cause over 750,000 asthma attacks in children by 2025


(NaturalNews) Is it getting harder to breathe in the United States? A new study led by an independent researcher from Colorado State University certainly suggests that is the case. The study analyzed data on air quality that was collected by the U.S. government itself, and evaluated the relationship between ozone smog and asthma.

Smog is comprised of emissions from oil and gas production that have accumulated in the ozone layer, and it is known to be a trigger for asthma. The study, which was appropriately titled, "Gasping for Breath," collected ozone pollution data from industries across the board, and compared the health impacts to a calculated baseline case. What this means is that a case using current trends that includes predicted growth for oil and gas industries was compared to a case where there were no emissions from those industries, which is what would be considered "baseline." This was done in order to estimate what the impact of smog from the oil and gas industries will look like in 2025.

The study indicates that Texas, Oklahoma, Colorado and Pennsylvania are the states that will be most dramatically effected by industrial emissions. It's been estimated that more than 300 Texans will need to seek urgent care for respiratory distress. Furthermore, Texan children will also suffer an approximate 140,000 asthma attacks due to smog exposure. They will also miss a combined total of about 105,000 days of school due to asthma-related health problems resulting from poor air quality.

The study also predicts that children nationwide will suffer around 750,000 asthma attacks and miss 500,000 days of school in 2025 – all thanks to oil and gas emissions. And while the number of work days lost by parents who are taking care of their children cannot be calculated, it's estimated that 1.5 million adults will miss work due to an asthma-related health issue.

Naturally, oil and gas companies have been quick to dismiss the study in one way or another. For example, The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality's spokesperson Andrea Morrow contacted the Texas Observer and said that the researchers "did not cite the sources" so that staff could "fully evaluate" the study. Morrow then went on to say: "The report also failed to take the agency's steps to reduce emissions from the oil and gas industry into consideration."

What steps? While it is true that in June of 2016 the EPA finalized new methane standards for new and modified oil and gas facilities, the new standards will not apply to the 1.2 million already-existing oil and gas operations across the country. This means that in nine years, the same facilities will be operating under the same conditions they are now, and will not be forced to comply with the new EPA emission regulations. It is not speculation to say that a good portion of these facilities will not willingly change their ways if they don't have to.

Let's not forget that Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton also launched a lawsuit against the EPA in mid-July. The Texas Tribune reported on Paxton "calling the agency's rules 'a gross demonstration of federal overreach' and accusing regulators of failing to consider the price tag for oil and gas producers to comply." And we're supposed to believe that these industries actually want to comply with federal regulations? Of course, if the federal government wasn't so prone to overreaching and doling out whimsical, feckless regulations, businesses might be more inclined to comply when they come up with regulations that might actually serve a purpose.

The Colorado Oil and Gas Association has also come forward and attacked both the study and the Clean Air Task Force – the organization behind the study. The association even went so far as to say that the Clean Air Task Force is an activist group that "cannot be trusted."

Something tells me that an independent activist group is far more trustworthy than big business.





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