Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Fracking like there's no tomorrow - petitions

Protect Your Drinking Water

Sign the Petition for a National Ban on Fracking!

Fracking is a type of gas drilling that injects millions of gallons of hydraulic fluids - a mixture of chemicals, water and sand - into a well to create pressure that cracks open rock underground, releasing natural gas. This process can deplete and contaminate local water, damage the environment and threaten public health.

Petition to Congress
I urge you to protect our drinking water by implementing a federal ban on hydraulic fracturing, or natural gas fracking.

The toxic results of using hydraulic fracturing to extract natural gas have led to the contamination of drinking water, cattle being quarantined in Pennsylvania, and dangerous explosions in states across the country, among other issues. In order to protect our essential water resources, we need a national ban on fracking.

I urge you to protect your constituents by calling for a national ban on hydraulic fracturing.

Protect Your Drinking Water. Sign the Petition for a National Ban on Fracking!

Why Ban Fracking? | Food & Water Watch

To frack an oil or gas well, a massive volume of water, sand, and chemicals is injected underground at high pressure to break up rock formations, allowing oil or gas to flow up the well.

Fracking threatens the air we breathe, the water we drink, the communities we love and the climate on which we depend.

Fracking is a form of natural gas drilling that involves the injection of millions of gallons of "frack fluid" into dense shale rock in order to crack the rock and release the gas. Frack fluid contains any combination of up to nearly 600 chemicals along with millions of gallons of water and sand. People who live in areas where fracking occurs experience contaminated water, reduced property value, increased truck traffic, loud noise, explosions and even illness.

You can find reports and fact sheets on the Food And Water Watch site here.

"An America Built to Last" Needs Clean Water!

January 26th, 2012
“An America Built to Last” Needs Clean Water!

By Emily Wurth

President Obama: “I will not walk away on the promise of clean energy.”

Tell him that fracking for shale gas is not clean; America must walk away from dirty energy.

As I watched President Obama’s State of the Union address this week, I thought he had some good ideas about how to address some of our country’s serious problems, but I think he really got it wrong on energy policy.

In his speech, President Obama lauded natural gas from shale as a key part of his clean energy plan, but the truth is there is nothing clean about it. Fracking shale for natural gas is an intensive extractive process that has polluted the water and air of communities across the country.

Unfortunately, the energy portion of President Obama’s speech sounded like it could have been written by the oil and gas industry. He cited the industry’s deceptive claims and grossly inflated the jobs numbers, rather than actual labor statistics. President Obama needs to hear the truth about shale gas.

While we agree with the President that gas companies should disclose the chemicals they use in fracking, simply telling us which chemicals gas companies use will not prevent contamination from happening in nearby communities. It falls far short of removing the oil and gas industry’s exemption from key environmental regulations like the Safe Drinking Water Act, which the President should agree would be “regulations to prevent irresponsible behavior” by the oil and gas industry.

President Obama believes we can “develop this resource without putting the health and safety of our citizens at risk,” but the research increasingly shows that it is not possible. Please ask President Obama to walk away from fracking and toward an energy efficient future powered by renewable sources.

Tell President Obama to Walk Away from Empty Promises of Fracked Shale Gas

In his State of the Union speech, President Obama lauded natural gas from shale as a key part of his clean energy plan. Fracking shale for natural gas is an intensive extractive process that has polluted the water and air of communities across the country. There is nothing clean about it.

TAKE ACTION > President Obama said that he "will not walk away on the promise of clean energy." Tell him that the gas industry's promises are deceptive.

Ban Fracking in California!

Fracking has come to California, and if the oil and gas companies have their way they'll frack every possible inch of our state. Fracking, a type of oil and gas drilling that injects millions of gallons of chemicals, water and sand into the ground, has been proven to cause damage in communities around the country. This process can cause earthquakes, deplete and contaminate local water, lower property values and threaten public health. Californians can't afford to pay the heavy toll fracking will take on our state, which is why we need our legislators to enact a statewide ban on this practice.

TAKE ACTION > Sign the Petition to let the Governor and members of the California Legislature know that you want to Ban Fracking Now!

Regulation Lax as Gas Wells’ Tainted Water Hits Rivers - NYTimes.com

Wells for extracting natural gas, like these in Colorado, are a growing source of energy but can also pose hazards. | Kevin Moloney for The New York Times

...the relatively new drilling method — known as high-volume horizontal hydraulic fracturing, or hydrofracking — carries significant environmental risks. It involves injecting huge amounts of water, mixed with sand and chemicals, at high pressures to break up rock formations and release the gas.

With hydrofracking, a well can produce over a million gallons of wastewater that is often laced with highly corrosive salts, carcinogens like benzene and radioactive elements like radium, all of which can occur naturally thousands of feet underground. Other carcinogenic materials can be added to the wastewater by the chemicals used in the hydrofracking itself.

While the existence of the toxic wastes has been reported, thousands of internal documents obtained by The New York Times from the Environmental Protection Agency, state regulators and drillers show that the dangers to the environment and health are greater than previously understood.

The documents reveal that the wastewater, which is sometimes hauled to sewage plants not designed to treat it and then discharged into rivers that supply drinking water, contains radioactivity at levels higher than previously known, and far higher than the level that federal regulators say is safe for these treatment plants to handle...

...In fact, federal and state regulators are allowing most sewage treatment plants that accept drilling waste not to test for radioactivity. And most drinking-water intake plants downstream from those sewage treatment plants in Pennsylvania, with the blessing of regulators, have not tested for radioactivity since before 2006, even though the drilling boom began in 2008.

In other words, there is no way of guaranteeing that the drinking water taken in by all these plants is safe.

That has experts worried.

“We’re burning the furniture to heat the house,” said John H. Quigley, who left last month as secretary of Pennsylvania’s Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. “In shifting away from coal and toward natural gas, we’re trying for cleaner air, but we’re producing massive amounts of toxic wastewater with salts and naturally occurring radioactive materials, and it’s not clear we have a plan for properly handling this waste.”

The risks are particularly severe in Pennsylvania, which has seen a sharp increase in drilling, with roughly 71,000 active gas wells, up from about 36,000 in 2000. The level of radioactivity in the wastewater has sometimes been hundreds or even thousands of times the maximum allowed by the federal standard for drinking water. While people clearly do not drink drilling wastewater, the reason to use the drinking-water standard for comparison is that there is no comprehensive federal standard for what constitutes safe levels of radioactivity in drilling wastewater...


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