Oil and Gas Pollution Disproportionately Impacting Black Communities


    Throughout the United States, African American communities, perhaps more than any other community, are at risk of severe position — something needs to be done.

    Luckily, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), alongside the National Medical Association (NMA) and the Clean Air Task Force (CATF), are releasing banning together to fight this nationwide epidemic.

    Natural gas actually serves roughly 66.7 million homes across the United States. Additionally, 5.4 million businesses like hotels, restaurants, hospitals, schools and supermarkets run on natural gas, as well as 192,000 factories, and 1,900 electric generating units. On a daily basis, the average U.S. home uses 196 cubic feet of natural gas. Unfortunately, despite the tremendous advantages that natural gas provides the U.S. economy and infrastructure, oil and gas pollution is still extremely prevalent.

    According to the NAACP, which is the country’s foremost civil rights organization, the new study published alongside CATF and the NMA, will be titled Fumes Across the Fence-Line and will quantify the major health risks that airborne oil and gas pollutions that are affecting millions of African Americans.

    On November 14th, a panel will be held in Washington, D.C. to discuss these environmental issues and next steps. The panel will feature Al Green (D-TX), member of the Congressional Black Caucus; Marcus Franklin, of the NAACP and co-author of the study; Doris Browne, President of the NMA; and Lesley Fleischman, of the CATF and study co-author.

    These environmental dangers affecting the lives of millions of African Americans have been around for years. Unfortunately, these issues have been caused by dozens of industries and lack of environmental awareness by the general public.

    Metals like tungsten, 66% of which was either reused or recycled, can also be exported for recycling purposes. Hopefully, more and more industries will focus on improving the environment through better practices and a strong emphasis on recycled products rather than what we have seen over the last few decades.

    Though discussions like this will certainly help lead to potential solutions to fight national pollution, the market will need perspectives from a wide variety of people.

    Telisa Toliver, the vice president for Chevron Pipe Line Company, is another powerful figure in this complicated industry, who represents African-American women in the oil and natural gas industry.

    “What you do today matters and influences your future. Don’t wait to start building your foundation for success,” said Toliver. “It’s a shame that most female students give little thought to careers in energy. I know from personal experience that the oil and gas industry is an incredible place to work. Students should not be too shortsighted or limited about where job opportunities can be found. Don’t wait and expect for things to come along. We are all competing on a global scale, so don’t think narrowly.