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

Report | Environment Texas Research and Policy Center

Who Pays the Costs of Fracking?

Fracking” operations pose a staggering array of threats to our environment and health – contaminating drinking water, harming the health
of nearby residents, marring forests and landscapes, and contributing to global warming. Many of these damages from drilling have significant “dollars and cents” costs.

> Keep Reading
Headline

Oil and gas industry getting pressure to make fracking greener

Environmentalists and even energy executives acknowledge the fact that consuming massive amounts of water in a drought is costly and hurts public perception. Meanwhile, seismologists say evidence continues to mount that there's a strong link between injection wells and earthquakes.

The technology exists to recycle it, but it's not practical for all companies and all situations. Factors such as water quality, geology and economics all play a role in making recycling feasible, Allen says. In most cases, that water is injected into disposal wells thousands of feet below ground.

When that happens, the water can't be recovered and is "permanently consumed," says Luke Metzger, the director of Environment Texas.

> Keep Reading
Blog Post

Rainforest Village Battles Big Oil | Luke Metzger

The world is watching Ecuador. Oil giant PetroAmazonas has plans to drill in the Amazon rainforest. Many rainforest residents are no doubt fearing a repeat of what happened nearly fifty years ago, when Texaco blasted through the Amazon rainforest, clearing acres of pristine forest land and began drilling for oil. The result was the most massive destruction and contamination of rainforest lands in history along with unprecedented human rights violations. It was the early sixties; and although world-wide activism was at its peak, there were no global public awareness campaigns or social media platforms to halt the determination of such a big oil company. Today, the world is different--environmentally aware and globally connected. There are multi-national commissions and environmental standards in place; yet, deliberate deforestation is still the top threat to the world’s tropical forests. And proposed drilling is a huge threat right now.

> Keep Reading
Headline

It's time to consider long-term costs of fracking

All the hype by the fossil fuel industry about energy independence from fracking (hydraulic fracturing) in tight gas reservoirs like the Barnett Shale has left out the costs in energy, water and other essential natural resources.

Is this expensive, water consuming high-tech, low-energy-return extraction of fossil fuel from shale worth the loss of farm land, forests and wildlife habitat? "Fracking converts rural and natural areas into industrial zones, replacing forests and farm land with well pads, roads, pipelines and other infrastructure, and damaging precious natural resources," according to a 2012 report by Environment Texas titled "The Cost of Fracking: The Price Tag of Dirty Drilling's Environmental Damage." Do we want to pay for the infrastructure damage that the building of these wells will cause? According to the Environment Texas report, "the truck traffic needed to deliver water to a single fracking well causes as much damage to local roads as nearly 3.5 million car trips. The state of Texas has approved $40 million in funding for road repairs in the Barnett Shale region."

> Keep Reading
Headline

Drought Helps Fracking Foes Build Momentum for Recycling

Environmentalists in Texas are lobbying the Legislature to pass water-conservation requirements during next year’s session. In Pennsylvania, the Susquehanna River Basin Commission on July 16 suspended water intake for companies including Talisman Energy Inc. (TLM)Chesapeake Energy Corp. (CHK) and Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM)

> Keep Reading

Pages

View AllRSS Feed