Oil and Gas: Environmental Impact Assessment

Environmental impact of the petroleum industry - Wikipedia

Oil and gas companies play a significant role in energy production across America. With the generation of high revenue, they are also large contributors to the country’s economy by creating jobs as well as being a tremendous source of public revenue from their tax contributions. The oil industry alone has contributed to the creation of 10.3 million jobs for the American people. They are also responsible for a contribution of 8% to America’s GDP, or Gross Domestic Product.

The gas industry has also contributed much to the American economy with the production of biofuels. By doing a company review scan on the various oil companies that operate within the United States, you are able to see who the biggest producers of biofuels are.

While there are so many benefits to the oil and gas industry for both consumers and the country as a whole, there are also disadvantages. One of the main disadvantages of oil and gas companies is their effect on the environment.

Oil and gas companies contribute to pollution of water and air, as well as fueling climate change and disrupting wildlife. There are currently roughly 1.2 million oil and gas production facilities in the United States. If you consider how much oil and gas are produced at these facilities, you can imagine the impact it has on the environment. The production of oil contributes heavily to greenhouse emissions. These are emissions from burning fossil fuels such as carbon and coal in petroleum production for electricity, heat and transportation. Greenhouse emissions are released into the atmosphere as well as the groundwater, causing air and water pollution.

Water pollution from greenhouse emissions can have devastating effects on the migration patterns of fish, as well as disrupting the ecosystem of a lake, river or ocean. Air pollution from greenhouse emissions causes respiratory and cardiovascular related health problems in communities who live close to oil drilling sites.

The effect of oil and gas companies on climate change is equally devastating. Fossil fuels such as coal are burned in the production of petroleum products, releasing greenhouse gases into the air. Greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, methane, and chlorofluorocarbons. These gases trap heat, which contribute to the warming of the earth’s atmosphere, causing global warming. Greenhouse gases have already caused the global average temperature to rise by 1 degree celsius. While this does not seem like a big increase, it has caused water shortages, temperature rises and increased fire threats.

Oil and gas companies have been working hard on trying to reduce the effects their production has on the atmosphere and environment. They spend billions developing newly advanced energy technologies to reduce greenhouse emissions while still being able to maintain the future energy needs of consumers all across America. One way in which they have done this is by developing substitute and less carbon intensive fuels such as liquefied natural gas, as a more eco-friendly energy source for heating and electricity generation.