Target: U.S. Representative Ed Whitfield, U.S. Representative John Shimkus, and U.S. Representative Bob Gibbs
Goal: Close loopholes in environmental regulations that allow the oil and gas industry to pollute with impunity
The oil and gas industry has a sweetheart deal when it comes to environmental regulation. Safety protocols are bypassed, chemicals are kept secret, and pollution is overlooked — all because of loopholes in federal environmental protection law. These loopholes specifically exempt natural gas drilling, otherwise known as “hydraulic fracking,” from coverage under the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, the Safe Drinking Water Act, and the Resource Conservation Recovery Act (RCRA). Simply put, the industry is getting away with environmental abuse.
Due to these federal exemptions, the Environmental Protection Agency has little power to regulate hydraulic fracking. Even in states that now mandate the disclosure of chemicals used for fracking, the companies may still withhold information by claiming the compounds are so-called “trade secrets”.
But there is a solution. Sitting in congressional committee is legislation that would end some privileges the oil and gas industry now exploit. Known as the “Frack Pack”, five bills: The Frac Act, The Breathe Act, The Fresher Act, the Cleaner Act and the Shared Act, all aim to do one thing, hold these gross polluters to the same environmental protection laws as everyone else. The Frac Act specifically intends to close the infamous “Halliburton Loophole”, an exemption added to the Energy Policy Act of 2005 by order of Dick Cheney to exclude fracking chemicals from federal oversight.
If we ever hope to protect our environment and health from the dangers of hydraulic fracking, these bills must be enacted. Sign the petition below to tell Congressmen and Subcommittee Chairs Ed Whitfield, John Shimkus and Bob Gibbs to support this legislation and for the sake of our health, move the bills to a House vote.
Dear Representative Whitfield, Representative Shimkus, and Representative Gibbs,
We are writing to ask you to support the five Frack Pack bills: the Frac Act H.R. 1921, the Breathe Act H.R. 1154, the Shared Act H.R. 2983, the Fresher Act H.R. 1175, and the Cleaner Act H.R. 2825.
Our nation’s environmental laws must be enforced fairly in order to protect us all from pollution and negligence. Yet, while other industries are subject to such regulation as the Safe Drinking Water Act, the oil and gas industry remain immune to national environmental protection laws.
Putting our environment and health at risk by ignoring safety regulations and allowing pollution to go unchecked is unacceptable. To permit such violations of our air, water and health standards under the guise of “energy independence” or “job creation” is not only misleading, but painfully shortsighted. Our nation’s long-term job outlook and energy needs will be irrelevant without safe drinking water, clean air, or a healthy citizenry. Unless Congress stops permitting the oil and gas industry to dictate public policy, the irreparable reality of environmental cause and effect will be upon us.
We therefore, urge you to look beyond the special interests that sponsor this pollution and consider how you can help those left to drink the contaminated water and breathe the polluted air. The answer is simple: support the Frack Pack bills and move them forward for a vote.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Thatswherebatslive via flickr.com