Wyoming Now Has Worse Air Quality Than L.A. -- Guess Who's the Culprit

The other day poor air quality caused a daycare center to cancel outside playtime, and local officials to issue warnings to kids, elderly and people with respiratory problems, according to a USA Today story. Obviously nothing shocking if you live in L.A. or Houston or other big, smoggy cities -- but these warnings sprung from rural Wyoming.

Wendy Koch reported:

Rural Wyoming, known for breathtaking vistas, now has worse smog than Los Angeles because of its boom in natural gas drilling.

Residents who live near the gas fields in the state's western corner are complaining of watery eyes, shortness of breath and bloody noses, reports the Associated Press. The cause is clearer than the air: local ozone levels recently exceeded the highest levels recorded in the biggest U.S. cities last year.

Wyoming's air is now officially worse than L.A.'s thanks to gas drilling. How much longer is the gas drilling industry going to continue to maintain that what they're doing is safe? And how much longer are people going to continue to buy into the myth that natural gas is somehow a clean energy source. We need to start looking at the bigger picture -- well beyond tailpipe (and stovepipe) emissions and cost at the pump, and start realizing that the full price we pay for our fuel starts when we extract it and continues even after it has been burned. 

AlterNet / By Tara Lohan

Posted at September 15, 2011, 8:44am

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