The National Park Service has a major opportunity to close a set of thirty-year-old loopholes, which currently exempt more than half of all oil and gas wells from regulation.
This opportunity is especially urgent now that a huge natural gas boom has been found on the Marcellus Shale in the northeast, which could threaten dozens of units of the national park system if the Service does not act.
These parks include iconic landscapes, like the Gettysburg battlefield, the Flight 93 national memorial, the Delaware Water Gap, and the Appalachian Trail. By modernizing its regulations now, the Service can best protect the units of the national park system by setting the gold standard for oil and gas regulation.
Sign this petition and tell the National Park Service to protect our parks and end unregulated oil and gas drilling.
- National Parks Service
It's common sense that there should be no unregulated oil and gas drilling in the units of our national park system. So, it's shocking that more than half of the wells in our parks are unregulated by the Park Service. And now that a huge shale gas drilling boom in the Northeast and Appalachia threatens at least 35 more treasured parks, from the Upper Delaware River to the Flight 93 National Memorial, strong rules for mineral extraction are urgently needed. I strongly support the National Park Service's decision to finally close the decades-old loopholes that allow drillers to endanger the parks.
The Service should eliminate exemptions for grandfathered operations, operators who do not cross federal land to reach their resources, and operators using directional drilling. But it shouldn't just close old gaps: it should set the gold standard for oil and gas regulation, including for shale gas operations. It should make sure that oil and gas drilling won't damage water resources, air quality, or wildlife habitat -- and it should set tough bonding and clean-up rules to make sure that the drillers, and not the public, pay to reclaim drill sites. The Park Service protects our national treasures. It needs to act now to keep them safe.
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