Stop Fracking Our Future

Stop Fracking Our Future

Across the country, fracking is contaminating drinking water, making nearby families sick with air pollution, and turning forest acres into industrial zones. Yet the oil and gas industry is pushing to expand this dirty drilling — to new states and even near critical drinking water supplies for millions of Americans.

We need to show massive public support to stop the oil and gas industry from fracking our future.

Credit: Sam Malone

Fracking is threatening our environment and health

As fracking booms across the nation, it is creating a staggering array of threats to our environment and health: 

Our drinking water

There are already more than 1,000 documented cases of water contamination from fracking operations — from toxic wastewater, well blowouts, chemical spills and more. Moreover, fracking uses millions of gallons of water.

Yet the oil and gas industry wants to bring fracking to places like the Delaware River Basin, which provides drinking water for 15 million people, and Otero Mesa, which hosts the largest untapped aquifer in parched New Mexico.

Credit: B. Mark Schmerling

Our forests and parks

Our national parks and national forests are the core of America’s natural heritage. Yet federal officials are considering leases for fracking on the outskirts of Mesa Verde National Monument, along the migration corridor for Grand Teton’s pronghorn antelope, and right inside several of our national forests.

Along with air and water pollution, fracking would degrade these beautiful places with wellpads, waste pits, compressors, pipelines, noisy machinery and thousands of truck trips. 

Credit: National Energy Technology Laboratory

Our health 

Families living on the frontlines of fracking have suffered nausea, headaches, rashes, dizziness and other illnesses. Some doctors are calling these reported incidents "the tip of the iceberg."

We must act now to stop the damage of dirty drilling

In April 2016, we released our report, "Fracking By The Numbers," which looks at the damage to our water, land and climate from a decade of dirty drilling. The report concludes that to address the environmental and public health threats from fracking across the nation, states should prohibit fracking. No plausible system of regulation appears likely to address the scale and severity of fracking’s impacts.

In places where fracking does continue to take place:

  • Fracking should be subject to all relevant environmental laws. Federal policymakers must close the loopholes exempting fracking from key provisions of our nation’s environmental laws.
  • Our most important natural areas should be kept off limits. Federal officials should ban fracking on our public lands, including national parks, national forests, and sources of drinking water.
  • The oil and gas industry — not taxpayers, communities or families — should pay the costs of damage caused by fracking. Policymakers should require robust financial assurance from fracking operators at every well site.
  • The public’s right to know about fracking’s environmental damage must be respected. More complete data on fracking should be collected and made available to the public, enabling us to understand the full extent of the harm that fracking causes to our environment and health.

Issue updates

News Release | Environment Texas Research and Policy Center

Fracking by the Numbers

As Texans continue to struggle with extreme drought, a new report shows fracking has already used at least 110 billion gallons of Texas fresh water — enough to fill a third of the entire volume of Lake Travis. The Environment Texas Research & Policy Center report, “Fracking by the Numbers,” is the first of its kind to measure the footprint of fracking in Texas to date.

 

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Report | Environment Texas Research and Policy Center

Fracking by the Numbers

Over the past decade, the oil and gas industry has fused two technologies—hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling—in a highly polluting effort to unlock oil and gas in underground rock formations across the United States. As fracking expands rapidly across the country, there are a growing number of documented cases of drinking water contamination and illness among nearby residents.

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Blog Post

Don't let Big Oil Take Our Boots | Luke Metzger

Last month, something remarkable happened here in Texas. The city council of Dallas, home to Halliburton and J.R. Ewing and a world icon of oil and gas drilling, voted to reject a proposal by a natural gas company to drill and “frack” on city-owned land. Faced with enormous community opposition to drilling over fears of water contamination, air pollution and misuse of public park land, the council voted not to gamble with public health.
Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings told the city council, "To paraphrase Ecclesiastes: There is a place for everything under Heaven, and I don’t think the place for drilling is in Dallas." The city is now poised to adopt a tough new ordinance which will effectively ban drilling within city limits.

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Headline

Water Crisis

A 21st-century Texas variation of the old saw "whiskey's for drinkin', water's for fightin' about" might go something like this: "Gas is for gettin' rich, water's for fightin' about."

With hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, igniting a natural gas boom in Texas and elsewhere, we're only now paying sufficient attention to the massive amounts of water the drilling process requires. With some 30 Texas communities in danger of going dry before the end of the year, it's becoming more difficult to ignore the fact that the fracking boom, however welcome, comes at a high cost. It is a powerful drain on local water supplies.

Texas shale producers used about 25 billion gallons of water last year, and with more and more drilling in the Eagle Ford Formation, that figure will continue to grow. In some West Texas and South Texas counties - almost invariably drought-stricken counties - fracking accounts for 10 to 25 percent of water use and is projected to pass 50 percent in the future. Every month, oil and gas companies dispose of 290 million barrels of wastewater from fracking. That's the equivalent of 18,500 Olympic-sized swimming pools, Luke Metzger of Environment Texas points out. That's water that can never be used again - in a drought-debilitated state, no less.

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News Release | Environment Texas Research and Policy Center

Who pays the costs of fracking?

AUSTIN - Raising new concerns on a little-examined dimension of the fracking debate, Environment Texas Research & Policy Center today released a report analyzing Texas’s financial assurance requirements for oil and gas drilling operations.  Who Pays the Costs of Fracking? shows how Texas’s bonding requirements are completely inadequate to cover the cost and range of damage from dirty drilling.   

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