The scientists linked high levels of pollution to oil and natural gas wells in Oklahoma, Texas, Kansas, New Mexico and Colorado. Fossil fuel production in those states emits methane and other hydrocarbons, which contribute to global warming and asthma-inducing smog. The UCI researchers say leaky oil and gas facilities and natural seepage throughout the U.S. may release up to 6 million more tons of methane a year than previously thought — nearly doubling earlier estimates.
The full report is available by subscription from the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences at 202-334-1333 or www.pnas.org.
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