American leadership in the fight against global warming is crucial. America is the world’s largest economy, the second-largest emitter of global warming pollution, and the nation responsible for more of the human-caused carbon dioxide pollution in the atmosphere than any other. Without prompt action by the United States and others to reduce global warming pollution, catastrophic impacts – from coastal flooding to food system disruptions – could become unavoidable.
Across the country, fracking is contaminating drinking water, making nearby families sick with air pollution, and turning forest acres into industrial zones. We believe it is vital for the public to hear directly from people living on the frontlines of fracking, and so Environment America Research & Policy Center is supporting the Shalefield Stories project—a booklet designed and published by Friends of the Harmed, group of volunteer citizen-journalists committed to providing support to affected individuals and families living in the shalefields of Western Pa.
Burning fossil fuels to generate electricity pollutes our air, contributes to global warming, and consumes vast amounts of water—harming
our rivers and lakes and leaving less water for other uses. In contrast, wind energy produces no air pollution, makes no contribution to global warming, and uses no water.
Excessive water withdrawals threaten many of Texas’ most important and beloved rivers. Rivers are a central element of our natural heritage, but wasteful water use is harming wildlife, economically important estuaries, and the basic well-being of our communities. Major water users waste billions of gallons each year, even though we have the technology and know-how to use water more efficiently. Unfortunately, the state’s proposed plan for satisfying future water demand favors increased water withdrawals that will further harm our rivers. In many cases, the state has given permission for more water to be withdrawn from rivers than is actually available.
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. Yet it has often been difficult for the public to grasp the scale and scope of these and other fracking threats. This report seeks to quantify some of the key impacts of fracking to date—including the production of toxic wastewater, water use, chemicals use, air pollution, land damage and global warming emissions.