Some environmentalists, desperate to address greenhouse gas emissions from coal and oil, have wrongly identified natural gas as the primary “cleaner” alternative .While it is true that burning natural gas emits half the emissions of coal, natural gas extraction around the country creates dangerous risks to drinking and freshwater resources, and local air quality. Hydraulic fracturing, also called “fracking,” is a federally unregulated extraction process used in many natural gas drilling sites. The process can contaminate drinking water supplies with cancer-causing chemicals and significantly deplete freshwater aquifers. Natural gas extraction poses a grave threat to families, communities and ecosystems.
While for decades fracking was mainly conducted by smaller natural gas companies, the discovery of large gas reserves under shale formations in new areas of the country (such as New York and Pennsylvania) has resulted in the larger oil majors – ExxonMobil, ChevronTexaco and BP – becoming the largest frackers in the country. And now the Obama Administration’s State Department is promoting America’s fracking technologies to export fracking overseas – putting the administration in a position of a cheerleader for the industry. Cleaner, cheaper and quicker solutions to meet our energy demands are available. Renewable energy coupled with energy efficiency should diminish our dependence on dirty and dangerous fuels.
What is Fracking?
Learn more about fracking and its risks, here.
Read Public Citizen’s recommendations on fracking, here.
View Public Citizen’s comment to the Natural Gas Subcommittee, regarding its draft report on fracking, here.
Read letter to President Obama, regarding banning fracking, here.