Methane pollution from oil and gas extraction operations on Navajo Nation lands harms the health of local residents and robs the tribe of critical income, writes Hannah Grover for the New Mexico Political Report. An EDF report released late last month found the industry releases 1.5 million cubic feet of so-called “natural gas,” comprised mostly of methane, into the atmosphere in the Navajo Nation each year. That methane gas pollution amounts to 5.2% of the gas extracted, a loss rate double the national average, and costs the tribe $1.2 million in lost royalties and taxes. The harmful methane pollution can have a major impact on Navajo Nation residents.
Carol Davis, the director of the environmental advocacy group Diné CARE, said just a visit left her with nausea, headaches, and a panic attack. “It’s just amazing,” she added, “that people have lived there for so long in an area where they’re exposed to that kind of pollution.” According to EDF, about a third of those losses could be addressed through regular detection and maintenance.
Sources New Mexico Political Report).
Featured Image: From an updated report from Environmental Defense Fund and conservation partners, including Diné C.A.R.E., Native American Voters Alliance, and Grand Canyon Trust.
Originally published by Nexus Media.