Fracking -- the drilling process technically known as hydraulic fracturing where water, chemicals and sand are blasted at high velocity into underground fissures to release natural gas -- has been linked to contaminated drinking water, flammable tap water and even earthquakes. But politicians' interest in tackling this environmental threat is underwhelming at best.
That's because any attempt to question fracking's safety draws the ire of uber-lobbying group the American Petroleum Institute, one of D.C.'s most powerful industry associations and a big donor to political campaigns.
Ignoring the environmental hazards of hydraulic fracturing might be good for profits, but it's bad for the environment and our health. So we're taking the fight right to the fracking companies and their fracking representatives in Washington.
We'll send a copy to the White House and Congress to demonstrate that we know all about their cozy relationship with the frackers. If we can convince them we're outraged and paying attention, they might listen to the doctors, scientists and voters who want them to ban fracking once and for all.
Late last year, the Environmental Protection Agency announced that underground aquifers and drinking wells in Pavilion, Wyoming contained compounds that probably came from gas drilling, including glycols, alcohols, benzene and methane. The Centers for Disease Control said it found “explosive levels of methane” in two wells near gas sites in Medina, Ohio. And a hydraulic injection site in Ohio was found to have caused multiple small earthquakes as well.
A few U.S. elected officials have looked into fracking, but they say the gas industry is blocking crucial information from the public. Meanwhile, regulatory agencies admit they don't know exactly how hazardous fracking might be, or even what chemicals are used in fracking. "We sort of generally know," said a chief federal medical officer.
Not very reassuring.
Congress needs to act on this issue, and soon. The gas industry is drilling more than ever, and fracking is being considered in most states. Please sign our petition calling for a federal ban on this dangerous drilling practice, before we're all fracked.