The U.S. Department of Energy needs to hear from you!
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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.