Oil and gas companies—and their friends in politics—would like us to believe that natural gas can solve climate change, get us off foreign oil, fight terrorism, and bring jobs... but if it sounds too good to be true, it is.
Corporations are working overtime to greenwash gas so that people don’t find out the truth: the water supply of millions of people is at risk from a dangerous new method of gas drilling called hydraulic fracturing or “fracking.”
Fracking involves pumping millions of gallons of toxic chemicals deep underground to break up rock formations and release pockets of gas. Across the country hydraulic fracturing has been linked to many cases of water so polluted with gas that you can actually light it on fire! The process has also been blamed for huge explosions and the creation of dangerous levels of toxic chemicals in the air around drilling sites.
Gas companies don't have to reveal what chemicals they use in hydraulic fracturing because the process is specifically exempted from the Safe Drinking Water Act through a provision nicknamed “the Halliburton Loophole.” As a result of the Halliburton Loophole and other exemptions, the EPA has absolutely no power to regulate hydraulic fracturing.
A bill in Congress, called the FRAC Act, would close the Halliburton Loophole and restore EPA authority to regulate gas drilling. But the bill is not moving forward and instead lawmakers want to pass the NAT Gas Act and give $5 billion in subsidies to the gas industry.
It’s time for politicians across the U.S. to wake up and realize that natural gas is not a miracle energy source or “clean transition fuel,” it’s a bridge to nowhere.
Tell President Obama and Congress: Don’t Buy the “Natural” Gas Myth!
I am writing to urge you to support the FRAC Act (H.R. 2766 and S. 1215), and to work to stop the NAT Gas Act (H.R. 1835 and S. 1408).
The Natural Gas Act has been promoted to both parties by an unprecedented greenwashing campaign. The $5 billion giveaway for natural gas must be defeated because it will allow for the expansion of an industry that is neither a clean nor safe energy source. Drilling practices for natural gas—like hydraulic fracturing—will poison our water and air, devastate our communities, and destroy our vital infrastructure. Hydraulic fracturing presents a significant threat to the drinking water of one in six Americans. It also presents a threat to taxpayers who could be forced to shoulder the costs of a massive and unprecedented cleanup, and to U.S. national security interests, which are put at risk by the development of this dangerous industrial project in the same area as our nation’s critical water supply systems.
Natural Gas has been touted as an alternative energy source but it is a bridge to nowhere, a dead end on the road to a sustainable future. Our national security depends on our ability to reduce our foreign dependence on oil, but expanding natural gas development will not end our foreign oil addiction. What it will do is imperil our nation’s clean water reserves—which are also vital to our long-term security.
While the NAT Gas Act would be a huge step backwards for America, the FRAC Act would be a small step to restoring common sense. The FRAC Act would close the "Halliburton Loophole" which currently exempts hydraulic fracturing from the Safe Drinking Water Act. The industry currently uses a toxic cocktail of 600 chemicals in hydraulic fracturing that they refuse to divulge—even to state regulators and first responders. This is an outrageous injustice that should be ended immediately; the gas industry should play by the same rules as all other industries, particularly when gas industry practices have been linked across the country to devastating consequences for our environment and public health.
As a citizen concerned about our nation's health, natural resources, and future, I urge you to work against the passage of the NAT Gas Act and for the passage of the FRAC Act in order to promote safe regulation and protect our citizens from this out-of-control industry.
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