The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Ryanne Waters, (202) 683-4925,

New Map Shows 20 Percent of Oil and Gas Lies Under Public Lands

Food & Water Watch Releases Interactive Map to Show Intersection of Federal Public Lands and Shale Targeted for Drilling and Fracking


Today, national advocacy organization Food & Water Watch released an interactive map that shows the overlap between U.S. oil and gas reserves and public lands. The map shows that about 20 percent of U.S. oil and gas reserves lies beneath public lands. The map utilizes data from Esri, National Atlas of the United States, United State Energy Information Administration and the United States Geological Survey.

When President Obama's Bureau of Land Management originally proposed rules to regulate fracking on public lands, more than 650,000 public comments were delivered demanding an outright ban on the practice instead. By the end of 2014, oil and gas companies had leases on over 34 million acres of U.S. public land. Over 200 million more acres - about a third of all federal land - could be targeted for drilling.

"The only way to protect our federal lands from the dangers of fracking is to ban it entirely," said Wenonah Hauter, executive Director of Food & Water Watch. "This map shows where fracking is already taking place today, posing a serious threat to water, air and land resources. Real leadership and action is necessary to keep U.S. federal lands frack free."

On Earth Day, U.S. Reps. Mark Pocan (D-WI) and Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), members of the Safe Climate Caucus, introduced the Protect Our Public Lands Act, H.R. 1902. The legislation is the strongest anti-fracking bill introduced in Congress to date and would ban fracking on public lands. H.R. 1902 prohibits fracking, the use of fracking fluid, and acidization for the extraction of oil and gas on public lands for any lease issued, renewed or readjusted.

The interactive map can be found here:

Food & Water Watch mobilizes regular people to build political power to move bold and uncompromised solutions to the most pressing food, water, and climate problems of our time. We work to protect people's health, communities, and democracy from the growing destructive power of the most powerful economic interests.

(202) 683-2500