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

News Release | Environment New York Research and Policy Center

Governor Cuomo to Ban Fracking

In an historic move, Governor Cuomo today announced his final decision to ban fracking in New York.   The governor’s decision comes just days after several new reports on the health threats of dirty drilling – including Environment New York’s release last week of “In the Shadow of the Boom” showing how fracking would threaten the health of vulnerable populations.

 “Across the country, fracking has been a rolling environmental disaster – contaminating drinking water, making residents sick, and transforming forests into industrial zones,” said Heather Leibowitz, director of Environment New York. “After listening carefully to the latest science and the voices of millions of New Yorkers, Governor Cuomo has decided to permanently protect the water, health, and environment of the Empire State from the documented damage of dirty drilling. This is what true leadership looks like.”

> Keep Reading
News Release | Environment New York Research and Policy Center

Environment New York study: fracking poses risk to vulnerable populations

A study released today by the Environment New York Research & Policy Center demonstrates that if fracking were allowed in New York, drilling for gas could have detrimental effects on children and the infirm. The report, entitled The Spreading Shadow of the Shale Gas Boom: Fracking’s Growing Proximity to Day Cares, Schools and Hospitals, shows New York has more than 5,300 day care facilities, more than 2,500 schools, and 450 hospitals that overlie gas-bearing shale formations in the state.

Although New York is currently under a de facto drilling moratorium, as of May 2013, oil and gas drilling companies had applied for permits to drill more than 270 wells that target the Marcellus or Utica shales. Most of these sites have not been permitted or drilled yet, but could be if New York lifts its moratorium on fracking.

 “We have seen how dangerous gas drilling can be in other states – from harmful air and water pollution to fires, blowouts and explosions,” said Heather Leibowitz, the director of Environment New York. “This report shows that if fracking is allowed into New York, our vulnerable populations could be exposed to unacceptable risks.”

> Keep Reading
Report | Environment New York Research and Policy Center

The Spreading Shadow of the Shale Gas Boom:

Using “fracking,” gas companies are drilling near our communities, polluting our air and water and risking the health of our children and other vulnerable populations. Fracking involves injecting water, sand and chemicals at high pressures deep into the earth, breaking up underground rock formations to release natural gas. Blowouts and fires can occur at well sites, and drilling and extraction can contaminate our air and water, putting the health and well-being of nearby residents at risk.

> Keep Reading
News Release | Environment New York

Breakthroughs Takes on Fracking: Environment New York Featured in Martin Sheen Documentary on Dirty Drilling Released to Public Television Stations in 50 States

This week, Martin Sheen’s Breakthroughs program released an expose on fracking featuring Environment America, the national arm of Environment New York, to public television stations across the nation.  As the debate over dirty drilling continues to mount, the Breakthroughs piece could reach as many as 60 million viewers in all 50 states.

> Keep Reading

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