The natural gas industry has its eye on our national parks, forests and monuments. From Theodore Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota to George Washington National Forest in Virginia to Desolation Canyon in Utah, the fracking industry wants a free pass to drill as much as they want without taking responsibility for the consequences.
Fracking is dirty and dangerous, and the rules proposed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to regulate it are woefully inadequate. We cannot allow gas companies to continue expanding fracking operations on federal lands and put our wild places at risk.
Send a letter to the Department of Interior Secretary Jewell and President Obama today telling them we must protect public lands from fracking.
Subject: No new fracking on federal lands
Dear [Decision Maker],
I want a strong a commitment to protect our public lands from the dangers of fracking, and the proposed Bureau of Land Management rules for oil and gas development on public lands fail to provide even minimal protections.
BLM must not open up any new landscapes for fracking. Given the significant impacts to our air, water, and climate, the only responsible thing for BLM to do is to keep natural gas in the ground and develop 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 effects on our land, air, water, wildlife, public health, and climate. The current draft rules entirely miss the mark, and the "all of the above" energy strategy will make "all of those living above" sick.
Although fracking will never be safe, steps must be taken to protect the health of communities first. 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 commonsense 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 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 fundamentally fail 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.