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The Case for a Ban on Gas Fracking

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Fracking, short for hydraulic fracturing is a highly controversial form of oil and natural gas extraction. Fracking involves pumping underground at extreme pressure, millions of gallons of water, mixed with a toxic cocktail of chemicals, including known carcinogens. Due to new techniques and technologies more intensive and riskier than conventional drilling, fracking is more dangerous than ever. The following are just some of many reasons why we need to ban fracking now.

FACT: While modern fracking for oil and gas is lining the pockets of oil executives, it is not generating broad-based economic growth. In fact, fracking brings rampant environmental and economic problems to rural and urban communities alike.

FACT: The oil and gas industry enjoys numerous exemptions from federal environmental laws such as the Safe Drinking Water Act, the Clean Water Act and the Clean Air Act. Because of this, the cumulative public health and environmental effects of from drilling and fracking are not well understood. It is in, effect, an uncontrolled public health experiment.

FACT: Scientists now believe that natural gas is likely worse than coal in terms of driving global climate change in the coming decades. Moreover, fracking will only prolong our dependence on fossil fuels, leaving future generations to deal with its expensive, messy legacy.

FACT: Fracking endangers drinking water, as accidents associated with the process can leak toxic chemicals into the environment.

FACT: Fracking threatens air quality. Regions with heavy drilling and fracking have elevated levels of smog and other airborne pollutants, including some carcinogens.

FACT: Fracking industrializes rural communities. Communities afflicted with fracking are introduced to heavy truck traffic, often laden with dangerous fracking chemicals and toxic waste. Meanwhile, public health is threatened, and property values plummet.

FACT: The oil and gas industry has exaggerated the economic benefits of fracking, including its capacity to create jobs. Any local jobs gained from fracking must be weighed against the risks and costs to public health, the environment and other economic sectors, such as tourism and agriculture.

FACT: Fracking will not deliver energy security. The only way for countries to ensure energy independence and security for future generations is to get off fossil fuels and pursue truly sustainable sources of power like wind and solar energy.

These problems are just some of many linked to fracking and drilling for oil and natural gas, and that’s why it’s time for another Global Frackdown! Check out our materials below to learn more about one of our era’s most pressing environmental and public health threats, and what you can do to stop it.