Don’t Allow Fracking Industry to Bypass Safety Precautions

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Target: British Prime Minister David Cameron

Goal: Change legal definition of fracking to ensure proper industry regulation.

A loose definition of fracking could be exploited by oil exploration and production companies to bypass safety precautions thanks to governmental regulations coming into effect this month in the U.K. This glaring loophole is now being condemned by critics in the U.K. and abroad who see the new set of regulations as another link in a long chain of alarming policy decisions.

Hydraulic fracturing, known as fracking, is a process of natural gas extraction in which rock is fractured by a pressurized liquid. It is widely recognized as having extremely damaging environmental effects, including causing seismic activity and contaminating water supplies.

The threshold designated by this month’s regulations for the amount of liquid necessary for an extraction to be considered fracking is erroneously high. According to the new legal definition, the only well fracked in the U.K. so far, which caused earthquakes near the city of Blackpool, would not technically qualify as an example of fracking. The definition would also fail to cover 89 percent of wells fracked in the U.S. between 2000 and 2010. If left unchanged, current guidelines will allow drilling companies to bypass safety precautions in operations that don’t constitute fracking.

Alarmingly, this generous redefining of fracking is only the latest in a series of policy decisions favoring the destructive practice. Previously, Prime Minister Cameron advocated for overturning a ban on fracking in national parks and scientific sites. He also resisted efforts by the European Union to impose stricter regulations on the fracking industry.

Sign the petition below to demand that Prime Minister Cameron revamp the legal definition of fracking to allow for tighter regulation of drilling companies.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Prime Minister Cameron,

Leniency repeatedly shown by your administration to the fracking industry has not gone unnoticed. The current definition of fracking used in the U.K. is far too permissive, leaving ample room for drilling companies to bypass safety precautions. Most actual cases of fracking, many of which have had catastrophic effects on surrounding environments, would not fall under the definition’s jurisdiction.

Induced seismic activity and contaminated water only begin to introduce a long list of hazards posed by fracking. The popularity of this practice is not something that can be taken lightly, and yet your administration has continually done just that.

I am urging you to take a stance against fracking by rewriting its legal definition to include most actual fracking cases. The integrity of the U.K.’s natural landscape and the welfare of its citizenry cannot be put at risk.

Sincerely,

[Your name here]

Photo credit: Ostroff Law

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