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Focus Area

Oil and Gas Drilling

Oil and gas drilling threatens everything in its path. Earthjustice’s fight against the oil and gas industry focuses on stopping fracking in local communities and on pristine public lands, strengthening environmental and health protections, and opposing infrastructure development that could lock us into decades of dirty fuels.
Photo by Zach McGeehan

In a precedent-setting case that pitted community rights against the oil & gas industry, New York's highest court ruled that the towns of Dryden & Middlefield can use local zoning laws to ban heavy industry within municipal borders.

Oil and gas drilling is destroying our air, water and health.

We’re in the midst of an oil and gas boom driven by fracking. The whole fracking process is exempted from key provisions of most of our nation’s major federal environmental laws. As drilling has expanded without adequate oversight, communities are contending with polluted drinking water and rampant air pollution, threatening our health and the environment.

Earthjustice is fighting oil and gas drilling by:

  • STOPPING FRACKING in local communities and on pristine public lands. Earthjustice supports local communities that are standing up to the oil and gas industry.
  • PROTECTING OUR PUBLIC LANDS from the ever-increasing pressure to drill for oil and gas regardless of the devastating impacts to precious wild lands.
  • STRENGTHENING ENVIRONMENTAL AND HEALTH PROTECTIONS by pushing for strong chemical disclosure laws and rules to prevent air and water pollution and stop methane leakage.
  • STOPPING INFRASTRUCTURE INVESTMENTS that will commit us to fossil fuel-fired future. We are working with affected communities to fight pipelines, export terminals and other major infrastructure projects that will spur more gas drilling and burning for decades to come.

We’re beating back the oil and gas boom.

Across the United States, Earthjustice is representing communities in their fight against oil and gas drilling, and we’re winning. Since 2008, Earthjustice has made marked progress in decreasing drilling’s impacts and we will continue to advocate in courts and administrative agencies to protect human health and natural resources from the oil and gas industry.

“For too long the oil and gas industry has abused people and communities, expecting to get away with it. That behavior is finally coming back to haunt them, as communities across the country stand up and say 'no more.' Earthjustice is proud to be standing with, and fighting on behalf of, one such community.”
– Deborah Goldberg, Managing Attorney

By the Numbers

18,000 hours infographic.

Number of hours Earthjustice attorneys, legislative representatives and communications staff spent on oil and gas drilling work in a single year, from July 2012 to June 2013.

Spotlight Features

Dryden: The Town That Changed The Fracking Game

When the oil and gas industry came to the small town of Dryden, NY (population: 14,500) with plans to start fracking, things didn’t turn out quite how they expected. Find out how a group of neighbors turned the tables on a powerful industry—and changed the fracking game forever. View the photo essay.

Fracking Across the United States

Along with the unprecedented oil and gas drilling rush, have come troubling reports of poisoned drinking water, polluted air, mysterious animal deaths, industrial disasters and explosions: "Fraccidents."

Pipeline on Wheels

Crude-by-rail is rolling into America's cities. Railroad shipments of volatile crude oil have increased 6,000 percent from 2008 to 2014, alarming citizens who weren’t told of the danger passing through their communities.

20,000

Number of people who stood in solidarity with the Town of Dryden, NY, a community of 14,500 people, who fought to protect their way of life by limiting oil & gas development within town limits.