Fracking in or near your backyard

By Bill Allayaud, California Director of Government Affairs

The film “Promised Land,” now showing in theaters across the country, plays off the intense national conversation about the relatively new natural gas drilling technology called high volume horizontal hydraulic fracturing – better known by its nickname, fracking. The unknown consequences of this technology frame a drama about the moral dilemmas posed when people in small, economically depressed communities confront the promises and pitfalls of resource development.

Because of this movie and the Oscar-nominated documentary “Gasland,” which starts off on filmmaker Josh Fox’s family land in rural Pennsylvania, many people may think fracking is confined to natural gas drilling operations in three massive shale formations: the Marcellus in the eastern U.S., the Bakken in North Dakota and the Eagle Ford in Texas.

But a new report from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, with a map showing wells fracked between September 2009 and October 2010, makes clear that fracking affects millions of Americans in fully three-fifths of the states, among them, Washington, California, Kentucky, Nevada, Tennessee, Wyoming, New Mexico, Alabama and California.


Source: Environmental Protection Agency

The point is fracking is not an issue that’s somewhere out there in America. It’s in our backyards. That’s why we want the facts, all of them, not just the marketing lingo the drilling industry peddles. And we need to be sure that our regulatory agencies, whether federal, state or local are up to the task of protecting the nation’s air, water and land and the public health.

Photo credit: Scott Green
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