Target: President Barack Obama
Goal: Protect citizens from contaminated drinking water by regulating fracking under the Clean Water Act.
Fracking has led to the contamination of drinking water sources in the town of Pavillion, Wyoming. According to a report published by former EPA scientists, dangerous levels of chemicals related to fracking have been found in the water used by the town’s 236 residents. Alarmingly, analyses of the water found levels of benzene, a chemical that can cause cancer, fifty times above permitted levels. The former EPA scientists responsible for the study noted during their survey that companies operating in the Pavillion area had been drilling at relatively shallow depths, gas wells are often poorly constructed, and waste chemicals are often dumped into unlined pits risking further contamination.
Fracking is exempt from regulations under the Clean Water Act, and as such it is hard to make the industry adhere to standards of operations that ensure their operations do not contaminate water. Furthermore, most fracking firms operate largely in rural, sparsely populated areas, meaning that local residents often lack the political influence to demand better protections. Wyoming is just one of many states that allow shallow depth fracking, and just one of many states that barely regulate the industry. Considering the public health threat fracking poses to communities across the US it is unacceptable that it escapes regulation. Sign our petition and ask President Obama to end the exemption of fracking from the Clean Water Act to ensure that everyone has water that is safe to drink.
Dear President Obama,
The recent report published by former EPA scientists detailing the contamination of water in Pavillion, Wyoming should be a sign that exempting fracking from the Clean Water Act is not in the public interest. Several states currently allow shallow fracking and there are thousands of shallow fracking sites across the country, even if only a minority result in contaminated water sources how many premature deaths and how much illness is this industry worth?
Among the chemicals found in the drinking water of Pavillion, Wyoming residents was benzene, at levels 50 times higher than what is permitted. Benzene is a known carcinogen. In your State of the Union address you announced a so-called “moon-shot” for cancer; that effort must involve removing environmental factors that contribute to the development of cancers.
Oil prices are lower that they have been in almost a decade, which means that fracking, as a high cost way of producing oil and gas, is less important to the US economy. Further, with the commitments made by the US in the Paris agreement there is a need to move away from such extraction methods. I urge you to do everything in your power to regulate fracking, it is in the best interest of America today, and tomorrow.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Simon Fraser University