Fracking on Public Lands
Our U.S. national parks and public lands are some of our most treasured places – and they are getting fracked.
Despite widespread public opposition, the Obama administration allows fracking on many of our federal public lands, including lands around national parks. But fracking isn’t safe: it puts our parks and nearby communities at serious risk of drinking water contamination, among other threats. It shouldn’t be allowed anywhere, never mind on our fragile public lands.
How Fracking Hurts Our Parks
Fracking is already damaging our public lands. Many of us cherish these places for spending time outdoors and creating family memories. But oil and gas companies see them as resources to exploit. When fracking arrives on our public lands,
- It contaminates the water, including drinking water and nearby rivers, which can spread pollution to national parks and nearby communities.
- It pollutes the air, causing health risks for visitors and residents as well as decreased visibility in the parks.
- It worsens climate change. President Obama claims he wants to protect future generations from climate change, but he still supports fracking.
- It hurts tourism in towns whose economies often depend on it.
To make matters worse, reports have shown that existing fracking wells on public lands aren’t being adequately inspected, creating even more potential for disastrous accidents. Learn more about the effects of fracking on specific parks.
The Fight to Ban Fracking on Public Lands
In 2013, President Obama’s Bureau of Land Management – an agency whose mission is “to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations” – released weak new rules for drilling and fracking on federal lands that will not protect these lands from damage. The rules apply to all federal and Native American lands subject to oil and gas leasing.
There was immediate outcry from the public demanding that the Obama administration protect our public lands – many of which are near and dear to people’s hearts. Food & Water Watch and our partners called for an immediate ban on fracking on public lands, which is the only way to truly protect these treasured places. In August 2013, we delivered 650,000 public comments from people in favor of a ban on fracking on public lands.
Today, those new rules are not yet final, and fracking is still happening in our parks and public lands. Join us in telling President Obama and Congress to pass a ban on fracking on public lands.