The Latest On: Fracking Gone Wrong: Finding a Better Way
As the nation’s largest oil and gas companies push the Obama administration to allow the unlimited exportation of liquefied natural gas, a swarm of environmental groups has urged the President to oppose such an expansion until additional environmental and economic studies have been conducted. Unlimited liquefied natural gas exportation would increase domestic gas prices and multiply the harmful environmental and health consequences of fracking.
Natural gas companies have bought the silence of fracking victims by forcing families who have settled out of court with the companies responsible for the destructive drilling operations near their homes to sign non-disclosure agreements. By restricting the availability of relevant data to regulators, policymakers, the news media and health researchers, these non-disclosure agreements make it harder to challenge the industry’s claim that fracking has never resulted in groundwater contamination.
Earthjustice has filed an appeal challenging the suspension of twenty-five drilling leases in Colorado’s Thompson Divide. The suspension would extend the amount of time that oil and gas companies can hold on to leases without active drilling instead of allowing the leases to expire as originally scheduled. The leases cover more than 30,000 acres, and drilling would damage both habitat and local communities.
After a year and a half of appeals and legal arguments, the small upstate New York town of Dryden has prevailed over the oil and gas industry in court. A unanimous decision from New York’s Third Judicial Department upheld the town’s authority to ban fracking through zoning laws.
Said Earthjustice attorney Deborah Goldberg, "It has got to be a morale boost to people who have been suffering the adverse effects of this industry to see people in a small town stand up to an incredibly powerful and wealthy industry and win."