Abandoned Oil and Gas Sites Are Leaking Methane Across the Country

Source:, October 6, 2021
By: Jennifer Oldham

Twin beige tanks stand amid stately evergreens in Colorado’s Medicine Bow-Routt National Forest. Their only companion is a silent pump jack. The inactive oil and gas site not only mars the view; it is also leaking toxic gases known to accelerate climate change.

Video shot by an optical gas-imaging camera shows plumes of methane and volatile organic compounds venting into the atmosphere from valves on top of the tanks. The pad’s operator, unable to pay to clean it up, abandoned the site in 2019, leaving taxpayers to foot the bill. Read more.

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