For Immediate Release
Over 570 national, regional, and local grassroots groups from across the country have signed a letter supporting the Fracking Ban Act, the first-ever federal legislation that would ban fracking and all related infrastructure projects.
The legislation was introduced this year by Senators Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Jeff Merkley (D-OR), and Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Darren Soto (D-FL).
The letter, which urges members Congress to co-sponsor the legislation, was organized by the advocacy group Food & Water Action, which in 2011 was the first national organization to call for a ban on fracking.
In addition to hundreds of local groups, the letter was also signed by leading environmental and progressive organizations, including Climate Justice Alliance, Democracy for America, Indigenous Environmental Network, MoveOn, People's Action, Progressive Democrats of America, Sierra Club, Sunrise Movement, and WE ACT for Environmental Justice. The Fracking Ban Act would immediately halt all new federal permits for fracking and fracking infrastructure, ban fracking within 2,500 feet of homes and schools, and ban fracking everywhere by 2025.
“The path to a Green New Deal starts with bold action to restrict the supply of fossil fuels, and that is precisely why a ban on fracking is an absolute necessity,” said Wenonah Hauter, executive director of Food & Water Action and Food & Water Watch. “We have seen the toll fracking has taken on the health and safety of frontline communities. We know that it has stymied the growth of clean, renewable alternatives. And we know that emissions from fracking are fueling the climate crisis. There is no time to waste: A ban on fracking is an essential, urgent climate action.”
The urgent calls to ban fracking are especially important in areas of the country that have been impacted by drilling. “Our clean air and water are being lost to fracking, toxic wastewater, and the associated petrochemical and plastics industry. Because of the lack of regulation and oversight of fracking from start to finish, we will have a real mess to clean up, if cleaning it up is even possible, once the fracking boom turns to bust,” said Leatra Harper, Managing Director of Freshwater Accountability Project in Ohio. “A national ban on fracking and fracked gas infrastructure is a bold and necessary step that needs to be taken now, and we applaud the courage of those committed to doing the right thing!”
"The Fracking Ban Act couldn't be more timely or necessary," said Karen Feridun, Co-founder of the Better Path Coalition. "In Pennsylvania, we are seeing a shift towards a second generation of fracking to support the production of plastics. Communities still reeling from fracking's impacts of the past 16 years are being hit again as they find themselves in the path of the metastasizing infrastructure-- and it’s all happening with the blessing of elected officials on both sides of the aisle.”
“Northwest Florida has been subjected to the extraction of oil for decades, and we can expect that these wells will reach a point where the once plentiful resources are no longer easy to obtain. This would certainly allow for the use of hydraulic fracturing to extract whatever might be left,” said Mary Gutierrez, Executive Director of Earth Ethics, a grassroots group based in Pensacola, Florida. “It is time for us to move away from the use of fossil fuels to renewable energy sources.”
“The permanent contamination of drinking water sources for millions is not an energy renaissance. It is the Dark Ages for public health and the future of our resources,” said Matt Pakucko of the group Save Porter Ranch. “The massive gas blowout at Aliso Canyon Gas Storage Facility caused only pain, sickness and suffering in northern Los Angeles. The only way to stop this madness is to shut down the fossil fuel projects that are fueling these crises.”
Food & Water Watch’s new report, Fracking’s Bridge to Climate Chaos: Exposing the Fossil Fuel Industry’s Deadly Spin, documents the dangers of fracking, and presents new research showing that the switch from coal to gas-fired electricity has not proven to be an effective means of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The report also documents the extent to which fossil fuel infrastructure that is either planned or under construction is geared towards plastics manufacturing or gas exports.