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 Oregon Research & Policy Center

Getting Off Oil

With oil companies taking greater and greater risks to satisfy the world’s demand for oil, the environmental toll of America’s oil dependence continues to rise. There are many technologies and policy tools, however, that can curb America’s dependence on oil.

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