Americans count on the Environmental Protection Agency to identify the largest threats to clean air and clean water, and act to make sure they are protected.
But thanks to the work of Vice President Dick Cheney’s secretive energy task force, since 2005, the EPA has been handcuffed from doing anything about one of the fastest growing threats to our waters supply: High Pressure Hydraulic Fracturing (or Fracking).
The method of drilling for natural gas involves pumping huge quantities of water and a secret mix of chemicals, including known toxic and carcinogens, deep underground, directly into or adjacent to our dinking water supplies.1
Senator Robert Casey (D-PA) has introduced a bill “The Fracturing Responsibility and Awareness of Chemicals (FRAC) Act” (S.587), which would allow the EPA to regulate Fracking, and force companies to disclose the list of chemicals in the toxic Fracking fluid.
Your Senator, Sen. Claire McCaskill, has not yet co-sponsored the bill. So we’ve set up a meeting at Sen. McCaskill’s office so you can ask her to do just that.
Fracking is spreading across the country at an alarming rate. It’s currently underway in 36 states, and has already had significant consequences for our water.
A recent investigative series by the New York Times recently concluded, “the dangers to the environment and health are greater than previously understood.”2 Between below-ground water contamination, the release of massive quantities of insufficiently treated Fracking wastewater into our rivers and streams, and above-ground spills of Fracking fluid, the ramifications of expanded, unchecked Fracking will be extreme.
Yet because of the “Halliburton loophole,” — so named because Halliburton, where Dick Cheney was CEO before becoming Vice President, patented Fracking in the 1940’s and remains the third largest producer of Fracking fluids — Fracking has been exempt from EPA regulation under the Safe Drinking Water Act, handcuffing the EPA from taking action.
That makes the oil and gas industry the only industry in America that is allowed by EPA to inject known hazardous materials — unchecked — directly into or adjacent to underground drinking water supplies.
The FRAC Act would help solve the problem. The bill was first introduced in 2009, and has gained some momentum for passage as public concern over Fracking has grown, but more co-sponsors are needed to help pass the bill and end this dangerous legacy of the Bush administration.3
We’ll make it easy for you and provide you all the materials you need.
Mark Anthony Dingbaum, Campaign Manager
CREDO Action from Working Assets
2. “Regulation Lax as Gas Wells’ Tainted Water Hits Rivers,” Ian Urbina, New York Times, 02-26-2011.
3. Current FRAC Act co-sponsors are Senators Boxer (CA), Cardin (MD), Feinstein (CA), Gillibrand (NY), Lautenberg (NJ), Mikulski (MD), Sanders (VT), Schumer (NY), Whitehouse (RI)