Ban Fracking in Louisiana Wetlands

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“Where nature performs miracles” is the motto for beautiful Abita Springs, Louisiana. Legend has it Abita was a Native American princess who was healed by the area’s pristine spring water. Now, this water -- the sole source of drinking water for miles around -- and some of the nation’s most sensitive wetlands are in jeopardy because a permit has been granted for fracking just outside our idyllic town.

Helis Oil & Gas wants to drill a vertical test that would require filling three acres of wetlands. If the well is fruitful, it will begin drilling horizontally, wiping out far more of some of the last remaining unpolluted waters in Louisiana. Wetlands provide natural buffers to both flooding and drought, and protect against coastal erosion. This is important not only for us locals, but for all Americans. We saw what havoc Hurricane Katrina wrought. We saw it in New York with Sandy. Now is not the time to fill our natural storm buffers with sludge and toxic chemicals.

Louisiana has long been an oil and gas state. It has brought many of us money and jobs, and we appreciate it. But fracking comes with extra concerns: let us not forget the well blowouts in Texas. The burning faucet water in Pennsylvania. The earthquakes shaking Oklahoma City. To choose to engage in such dangerous activity on our nation’s precious wetlands is downright irresponsible.

America’s last remaining wetlands are a national treasure that belong to the people, not oil and gas. We, the residents of Abita Springs, will not stand by and allow our natural resources to be destroyed. We are urging Governor John Bel Edwards to ban hydraulic fracturing on all of Louisiana’s wetlands.

Right now, Louisiana loses a football field’s worth of land every hour, and much of this is due to oil and gas development. According to Abita Springs’ Mayor Greg Lemons, the state agencies that okay-ed the drill site are funded by oil and gas permits. They are not neutral arbiters of what’s best for the people and our environment.

We have made several legal attempts to block this permit, but the oil and gas industry are powerful and only one suit remains active in the state’s 1st Circuit Court of Appeals. While that appeal is pending, all work is on hold at the drilling site. But a decision is expected any day now, and it will determine the future of our children, and grandchildren.

We have suffered through Hurricane Katrina and the ravages of the BP Oil Spill. Please join us as we fight for our right to drink uncontaminated water, breathe unpolluted air, and protect ourselves from storm damage. Please urge Governor Bel Edwards to ban fracking on precious Louisiana wetlands.



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