Washington, D.C. – As President Obama prepares to travel to South Florida’s Everglades tomorrow to deliver an Earth Day speech on climate change, the national advocacy group Food & Water Watch is highlighting the disconnect between the President’s statements on climate and his administration’s promotion of fracking on “protected” federal lands – including some in the Everglades region. In March, the Obama administration released toothless regulations that encourage new fracking on more than 200 million acres of federal lands, such as the Big Cypress National Preserve, which consists of 729,000 acres of “protected” swampland adjacent to Everglades National Park, where Obama will speak.Meanwhile, tomorrow on Earth Day, Congress Members Mark Pocan (D-WI) and Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) will introduce legislation that would ban fracking on all federal lands. The Protect Our Public Lands Act will be the strongest federal bill against fracking introduced in Congress to date.“Using the Everglades to highlight the threat of climate change, while at the same time encouraging the climate-damaging practice of fracking in that very region, represents an alarming disconnect,” said Food & Water Watch Executive Director Wenonah Hauter. “The president needs to acknowledge that fracking worsens climate change and reject this dirty, dangerous drilling method.”
A recent report from Food & Water Watch details the immense impact fracking for oil and gas contributes to global climate change. The fracking process releases huge volumes of methane gas, which is known to trap 87 times more heat than carbon dioxide in the atmosphere over a 20-year time frame.
Despite widespread public opposition, the Obama administration allows fracking on many of our federal public lands, including national forests and lands around national parks. In March 2015, despite receiving 650,000 public comments from people in favor of a ban on fracking on public lands, President Obama’s Bureau of Land Management finalized weak new rules for drilling and fracking on federal lands that will not protect these lands from damage.
Contact: Seth Gladstone – sgladstone[at]fwwatch[dot]org, 917.363.6615
Food & Water Watch champions healthy food and clean water for all. We stand up to corporations that put profits before people, and advocate for a democracy that improves people’s lives and protects our environment.