No New Fracking on Federal Lands

  • By: Sierra Club
  • Target: U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell
Fracking is dirty and dangerous, and the new Bureau of Land Management rules regulating it are woefully inadequate to keep people safe. We cannot allow gas companies to continue to expand fracking operations on federal lands, putting thousands of communities at risk.

The new BLM rules do not include even the most basic recommendations of the president's own shale gas advisory committee, and would allow companies to drill without public disclosure of toxic chemicals, baseline water testing or setback requirements of wells from homes and schools. This is unacceptable.

Send a letter to Secretary Jewell today telling her we want no new areas opened for fracking on federal lands.
Subject: No new fracking on federal lands

Dear [Decision Maker],

The Dept. of Interior's Bureau of Land Management rules for fracking on federal lands completely fail to honor President Obama's 2013 State of the Union address where he pledged to do more to combat climate change for the sake of our children and our future.

Although no amount of regulation will ever make fracking entirely safe, the proposed BLM rules fail even to provide minimal protections.

First, BLM must not open up any new landscapes for fracking. Given the significant impacts to our environment and our climate the only responsible thing for BLM to do is keep it in the ground and put full effort into developing renewable sources of energy, like wind and solar.

In places where leasing has already occurred, the BLM must put in place important protections that reduce fracking's impacts to our land, air, water, wildlife and public health. The current draft rules entirely miss the mark, and the "all of the above" energy strategy will make "all of those living above" sick.

Drillers must be required to fully disclose the chemicals they use, with no exemptions for trade secrets; drillers should also conduct rigorous baseline testing of water quality before drilling occurs; setbacks from homes, schools and hospitals must be established to protect the air we breathe; and common sense requirements, such as banning the use of diesel fuel, not allowing open pits for wastewater storage, and requiring capture of methane must be in place to provide the most basic health protections we deserve.

The draft rules proposed by BLM fall far short and fail to employ the most basic recommendations of the president's own shale gas advisory committee, which advocated for transparency, chemical disclosure, environmental safeguards and pollution monitoring for fracking. These rules are fundamentally inadequate to protect our health and safety.

Continuing to allow the oil and gas industry to make the rules is outrageous. For that reason, the BLM should not open up any new areas for leasing for fracking operations on our public lands.
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