November 9, 2021

Press Contacts:
Lorne Stockman,
Alan Septoff,
Cate Bonacini,

Report: Oil production in the Permian Basin expected to increase 50% over the next decade

New analysis reveals disparity between global climate targets and expected domestic production of oil and gas in the Permian Basin.

El Paso, TX — Oil Change International, Earthworks, and the Center for International Environmental Law today released the second chapter of the The Permian Basin Climate Bomb report series, centering on the Permian’s climate impact. The latest installment exposes the stark contradiction between the Biden administration’s climate goals and the expected trajectory of oil and gas production in the Permian Basin. While climate goals require a 40% decline in oil and gas consumption globally over the course of the next decade, oil production in the Permian Basin is expected to grow 50%.

The report additionally reveals that burning the oil and gas projected to be produced in the Permian Basin by 2050 will release nearly 40 billion tons of CO2, almost 10% of the remaining global carbon budget for staying under 1.5°C. 80% of these emissions, over 30.6 billion tons of CO2, would come from burning the liquids and gas produced from new wells that were not in production at the end of 2020, signaling an urgent need — but an opportunity — for President Biden to immediately deny new oil and gas infrastructure permits.

The six-part Permian Climate Bomb series analyzes the climate, public health, economic, and social impacts of the Permian fracking boom. It follows the flow of Permian hydrocarbons from extraction to export, illustrating the community consequences of the associated infrastructure buildout by spotlighting individuals confronting the fossil fuel industry. In doing so, this series links the Permian Basin to environmental injustice and petrochemical expansion on the Gulf Coast.

Parts 3-6 of the series will be released over the coming weeks. 

Read the second installment of the Permian Climate Bomb:

Read the second installment of the Permian Climate Bomb: (en español):


“The Permian Basin has, for the past decade, been the site of an oil and gas boom of unprecedented scale. Producers have free rein to pollute and methane is routinely released in vast quantities. Oil exports fuel Permian production growth and today they constitute more than 30% of US oil production. While climate science tells us that we must consume 40% less oil in 2030, Permian producers plan to grow production more than 50%. This must not happen. Gulf Coast communities can no longer bear the brunt of this toxic trade or its climate impacts. Building back better means building back fossil free—starting with the Permian Basin.” — Lorne Stockman, Research Co-Director, Oil Change International

“Unless President Biden defuses the Permian climate bomb exploding in my backyard, we won’t prevent catastrophic climate change or meet our national climate commitments. A ‘code red’ demands emergency action, not business as usual. The President can show he’s serious about climate by declaring a climate emergency, reinstating the crude export ban, enacting the toughest possible rules to cut oil and gas methane pollution, and laying the political groundwork to end new oil and gas production.”  Miguel Escoto, Earthworks West Texas Field Advocate and El Paso resident

“If the Biden Administration wants to be serious about its promise to demonstrate US climate leadership, it must first clean up its own backyard. The Permian Basin is the single largest fracking basin globally, and the continued reckless pursuit of oil extraction from New Mexico to the Gulf Coast is the ultimate display of hypocrisy. As long as wells are pumping, the United States enables a worsening climate emergency, endangers the health and safety of communities, and contributes to the destruction of ecosystems. The Administration must use all of the tools at its disposal to prevent the next decade in the Permian from being a repeat of the last. At a minimum, that means rejecting permits for new export facilities, petrochemical plants, and other fossil fuel infrastructure.” — Steven Feit, Senior Attorney at the Center for International Environmental Law

“The Permian climate bomb starts with oil and gas wells spewing toxics, including the ones across the street that forced us from our home. Cleaning up the Permian won’t just help the climate, it’ll protect the health of people that live here.” — Fort Davis, Texas resident Sue Franklin

“Gas from the Permian fuels the industrial beast of pollution in the Gulf coast, especially in Port Arthur, TX, my home. The facilities using this gas include the largest refinery in the country; the world’s largest steam cracker, and the explosive expansions in refining, LNG, pipelines, and export facilities. This ‘boom’ has contributed to environmental degradation, significant loss of quality of life, nonattainment air quality, water-borne pollution, and diminished health for my fenceline community. Fracked Permian gas contributes to our significantly higher risk of cancer, heart lung and kidney disease. And then, the storms; give major hurricanes in the last 25 years! Catastrophic flooding and unseasonal weather events, all compounded by the greenhouse gases of the Permian. Port Arthur, and the entire Gulf Coast, has become a sacrifice zone, so America can feed it’s thirst for toxic fossil fuels. We can no longer afford to be the unwitting victim of this exploitation from the use of fracked Permian gas; it needs to end, NOW! and utilize clean, green renewable sources of energy in its stead. We say, ‘Keep it in the Ground’” — John Beard, Port Arthur Community Action Network (PACAN)

Read the second installment of the Permian Climate Bomb: