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Stopping Fracking

A flare burns in an oil field in Shafter, CA.

A flare burns in an oil field in Shafter, CA.

Photo by Chris Jordan-Bloch / Earthjustice

Earthjustice is fighting back against oil and gas drilling, which threatens people’s health and the environment.

The United States is in the midst of an oil and gas boom, driven by fracking, a dangerous development technique and a short-sighted energy strategy. "Fraccidents"—troubling reports of poisoned drinking water, polluted air, mysterious animal deaths, industrial disasters and explosions—have occurred across the nation, part of the country's fracking-enabled oil and gas drilling rush.

In Louisiana, seventeen cows died after only an hour’s exposure to spilled fracking fluid. In north-central Pennsylvania, 140 cattle were exposed to fracking wastewater when an impoundment was breached. Approximately 70 cows died; the remaining herd produced eleven calves, of which only three survived.

Earthjustice is stopping fracking by:

  1. Defending communities from fracking. In 2012, Earthjustice began representing the town of Dryden, New York, against an oil and gas company seeking to overturn local zoning laws limiting oil and gas development. In 2014, local communities triumphed over the fracking industry in the precedent-setting case, when the NY Court of Appeals, the state’s highest court, ruled that the towns of Dryden and Middlefield can use local zoning laws to ban heavy industry, including oil and gas operations, within municipal borders.
  2. Protecting public lands. Earthjustice is challenging fracking on public lands, national forests, wildlife refuges and other special places, to protect pristine landscapes and endangered species.
  3. Opposing oil and gas infrastructure projects that drive new development. Earthjustice is challenging two gas storage projects proposed for underground salt caverns on the shores of Seneca Lake, New York; a 122-mile interstate pipeline from Pennsylvania to New York, and a proposed liquefied natural gas export terminal on the Chesapeake Bay.