A nonprofit research organization called the Clean Air Task Force published a study that measures the health problems caused by the oil and gas industry. It found that in the United States, more than 750,000 children suffer from asthma attacks every summer as a result of oil and gas related smog.
As the largest producer of oil in the country, Texas is a major offender. Half of the top 30 U.S. counties for asthma attack risk are in Texas. The state sees 144,496 children suffer from asthma attacks, or nearly 20 percent of all oil and gas related asthma attacks in the nation. The next five states in line for childhood asthma are Oklahoma, Colorado, Pennsylvania, Georgia and Ohio. All of them combined fail to meet the level of asthma attacks seen in Texas.
“Children, the elderly, and people with existing respiratory conditions are the most at risk from ozone smog pollution, which can drive them to stay indoors in the warmer months when smog levels are highest, robbing children of their summers and others of their ability to work and recreate out of doors,” explained the report.
Within the next 6 years, Texas will lead the nation in sicknesses linked to ozone-forming pollutants from oil and gas activity, according to an analysis from a pair of environmental groups—the Clean Air Task Force and Earthworks—national environmental groups based in Massachusetts and Washington, D.C.
In the 2025 “ozone season,” those pollutants will trigger more than 144,000 childhood asthma attacks, nearly 106,000 lost school days and 313 total asthma-related emergency room visits in Texas, the research said. (The study defined ozone season as May 1 through September 30.) These smog troubles plague some Texas cities, and as a health educator, Kelly takes this very seriously and does not simply see this as a mere externalized cost for the oil and gas industry. Their profits and economics do not Trump the health and safety of Texans.