Menu

Politics

In North Dakota’s oil, gas country, the air’s just fine

The Environmental Protection Agency has announced emissions rules for power plants President Obama says are needed to protect the health of Americans. 

But in North Dakota, where the rapid pace of oil development exists alongside what industry sources say is an 800-year supply of lignite coal, that argument doesn't seem to match the facts on the ground. 

The proposed EPA rules announced Monday would require power plants to cut emissions by 30 percent by 2030. They would be implemented in 2016 after a one-year public commenting period. 

"We don't have to choose between the health of our economy and the health of our children," Obama said of the rules in his weekly address released Saturday. "As president and as a parent, I refuse to condemn our children to a planet that's beyond fixing." 

But in North Dakota, fossil fuel energy development seems to have had little impact on air quality. According to the American Lung Association's 2014 State of the Air report,the state gets a top grade for air quality specifically in counties with intense fossil fuel energy development. 

Click for more from Watchdog.org