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The U.S. Department of Energy needs to hear from you!

July 28, 2011

Reposted from our ally Earthworks:

In May, U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu announced the establishment of the Energy Advisory Board Natural Gas Subcommittee on Fracking Issues (see www.shalegas.energy.gov) to make recommendations on improving the “safety and environmental performance” of hydraulic fracturing in shale formations.

It’s very positive that this critical issue is being investigated at the federal level. But Earthworks and many of its allies have loudly voiced concern about the make up, process, and focus of the Subcommittee (see http://earthworksaction.org/PR_DOE-fracking-panel.cfm).

After several meetings and hearings, the Subcommittee is due to issue its draft recommendations in mid-August. Members need to hear from people whose water, property, and health have been impacted by gas drilling, and they need to be told why current industry practices and regulations aren’t protecting communities.

It’s best to personalize your comments and write them in your own words. But you can use the key points below, which Earthworks and its allies included in our official comments to the Subcommittee. 

Please submit a written statement and any other documentation by Friday, August 5 to Natural Gas Subcommittee on Fracking Issue, c/o Renee Stone, U.S. Department of Energy, 1000 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington D.C. 20585, or by email to: shalegas@hq.doe.gov.

Key points

The Subcommittee should recommend:

  • Adoption of a strong federal regulatory framework in order to prevent more of the devastation to air and water quality, health, and communities that natural gas development has already caused. Weak state regulations and voluntary industry measures are simply not sufficient.
  • Measures to protect communities with both oil and gas operations in their backyards; a focus on just natural gas is not enough, as oil wells are also hydraulically fractured.
  • Reversal of exemptions for the oil and gas industry in seven major environmental laws, in particular the Safe Drinking Water Act, Clean Air Act, Toxic Release Inventory, and Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (see http://earthworksaction.org/publications.cfm?pubID=504 for details). The oil and gas industry shouldn’t get a free pass on protections for health and the environment, and must be regulated under federal law and by federal agencies.
  • That states be required to go through periodic reviews of their oil and gas regulations to ensure that they’re keeping pace with a changing industry and technologies and sufficient to protect health and the environment.
  • That a cumulative impact analysis be conducted for each of the major natural gas regions and shale plays identified in the Department of Energy’s recent shale gas report.
4 Comments
  1. josh permalink
    July 29, 2011 11:35 am

    fracking is a horrible thing… it ruins the environment for us hikers and also ruins the water supply. I dont care about cheap energy. I use a bike.

    Please halt the horror of fracking

  2. Katherine permalink
    July 29, 2011 11:36 am

    I have nothing kind to say about Fracking. Dont try to fool us. Get out!

  3. melvin Goldstein permalink
    August 11, 2011 1:48 pm

    There are foibles in all of us. There are even Physics Foibles. Entropy is one of them.

    Inside a warm damp cave, completely sealed off from the outside world, will life survive?

    Answer: No life forms could flourish indefinitely.

    In an isolated system, entropy always increases. Life tries to push entropy in the opposite direction. When life is created, entropy decreases in the cave but nature demands a greater entropy increase offset.

    The cave, being sealed, would mean that entropy would reach its max, thus energy necessary to sustain and generate new life would be unavailable.

    Maybe we should learn a lesson from this. Available energy is mandatory. Wealth may equate to available energy. If you want to live in a nation that is prospering, make sure that its available energy supply is abundant.

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