Obama Administration Issues New Fracking Safeguards

For Immediate Release

Contact: 
Virginia Cramer, 804-519-8449, virginia.cramer@sierraclub.org

Obama Administration Issues New Fracking Safeguards

WASHINGTON - The Obama administration today issued new safeguards for hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, on 750 million acres of public lands and subsurface mineral rights-- an area about four times the size of Texas.

In response Dan Chu, Senior Director for Sierra Club's Our Wild America Campaign issued the following statement.

"Fracking is a destructive process, threatening our air and water, our wildlife and special places, our families and our climate.  Improving safeguards where fracking is already occurring is vital, but equally important is ensuring that more areas are not put at risk. The fact remains that the safest place for dirty fuels is in the ground.

"Climate scientists have made it clear that at least two-thirds of all oil, gas and coal  must remain in the ground to avoid the worst consequences of climate disruption. We applaud Secretary Jewell for highlighting the importance of considering potential climate impacts in new federal leasing, drilling and mining actions in a major energy policy speech earlier this week. Her assertion that some places are simply too special to drill or mine is one we have long supported.

"The updated regulations released today by Secretary Jewell represent important progress in holding the oil and and gas industry accountable for the full economic and environmental cost of extracting dirty fuels from our public lands. When fully enforced, this new rule will reduce the harm caused by fracking to our land, water and health near communities where leasing has already occurred. However, the only true way to protect communities from fracking is to not frack at all.

"A 100 percent clean energy economy is necessary and achievable. Even as the Obama administration works to lessen the harmful consequences of current development, they can advance the clean energy growth noted by Secretary Jewell, reduce the climate impact of new mining and drilling and protect public lands by making sure dirty fuels stay in the ground."

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The Sierra Club is the oldest and largest grassroots environmental organization in the United States. It was founded on May 28, 1892 in San Francisco, California by the well-known conservationist and preservationist John Muir, who became its first president. The Sierra Club has hundreds of thousands of members in chapters located throughout the US, and is affiliated with Sierra Club Canada.

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