What Is Fracking and Why Should It Be Banned?
The case to ban fracking grows stronger every day. Fracking is short for hydraulic fracturing. It’s a water-intensive process where millions of gallons of fluid — typically water, sand, and chemicals, including ones known to cause cancer — are injected underground at high pressure to fracture the rock surrounding an oil or gas well. This releases extra oil and gas from the rock, so it can flow into the well.
But the process of fracking introduces additional industrial activity into communities beyond the well. Clearing land to build new access roads and new well sites, drilling and encasing the well, fracking the well and generating the waste, trucking in heavy equipment and materials and trucking out the vast amounts of toxic waste — all of these steps contribute to air and water pollution risks and devaluation of land that are turning our communities into sacrifice zones. Fracking threatens the air we breathe, the water we drink, the communities we love and the climate on which we all depend. That’s why over 250 communities in the U.S. have passed resolutions to stop fracking, and why Vermont, France and Bulgaria have stopped it.
Why a Ban? Can’t Better Regulations Make Fracking Safer?
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No. Fracking is inherently unsafe and we cannot rely on regulation to protect communities’ water, air and public health. The industry enjoys exemptions from key federal legislation protecting our air and water, thanks to aggressive lobbying and cozy relationships with our federal decisionmakers (the exemption from the Safe Drinking Water Act is often referred to as the Cheney or Halliburton Loophole, because it was negotiated by then-Vice President Dick Cheney with Congress in 2005). Plus, the industry is aggressively clamping down on local and state efforts to regulate fracking by buying influence and even bringing lawsuits to stop them from being implemented. That’s why fracking can’t be made safer through government oversight or regulations. An all out ban on fracking is the only way to protect our communities.
- How much do you know about fracking? Take our quiz!
- Learn how free trade agreements could fast track fracking.
- Read the Issue Brief: Fracking Colorado: Illusory Benefits, Hidden Costs
- Read the Report: U.S. Energy Insecurity: Why Fracking for Oil and Natural Gas Is a False Solution
- Read the Report: Exposing the Oil and Gas Industry’s False Jobs Promise for Shale Gas Development
- How do climate change, fracking and a global water crisis go hand-in-hand?
- Watch our video
- Learn how fracking affects our nation’s food system
- Why is fracking contributing to the global water crisis?
- How is the industry lying about the economic benefits of fracking?