Target: Ernest Moniz, United States Secretary of Energy
Goal: Demand reforms to ensure our fresh water supply is protected from industry and prioritized for human, plant, and animal life
With chemical spills, oil leaks, and other industrial disasters continuing to wreck havoc on America’s fresh water supply, it is clear that real reforms are necessary. Too often energy companies are let off the hook with fines or no consequences at all when their operations compromise the drinking water of nearby communities. The United Nations recently issued a report warning that the situation, left unchecked, could spell global disaster.
The World Water Development Report 2014: Water and Energy details how the energy industry uses its political influence to secure access to the staggering volume of water used in energy production. Demand for energy continues to grow, tempting increasingly more expensive and environmentally damaging exploration techniques.
Much of the world is already under severe water stress with some 768 million people lacking access to clean water. That lack of access leads to food insecurity and poor sanitation contributing to numerous deadly diseases. Call on the Department of Energy to enact real reforms that protect our fresh water supply from the endlessly-thirsty energy industry and prioritize its use to sustain life.
Dear Secretary Moniz,
The global population continues to rise and so does the world’s demand for fresh water. Water is critical for both food and energy production, and increasingly the two uses are coming into direct conflict. The political clout of the energy industry has allowed it unrivaled access to fresh water while minimizing the consequences it faces for polluting. Meanwhile, a growing number of human beings lack that same access to water for drinking, agriculture, and sanitation.
The United Nations’ recent World Water Development Report paints a clear picture, and one which regulators and policy makers would do well to heed. The report assures us that the growing demand for water will necessitate “changing lifestyles and evolving consumption patterns, greatly amplifying existing pressures on limited natural resources and on ecosystems.”
It is imperative that the Department of Energy ensure that clean water is prioritized for people, not for the energy production which is increasing both its demand for and its pollution of fresh water. While the Environmental Protection Agency must play a key role I am appealing to you specifically because of the degree to which increased energy production imperils this precious resource. I must insist that your department enact reforms to ensure that the energy industry’s reckless misuse of our water is a thing of the past.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: John Vachon via National Archives and Records Administration