Energy corporations are eagerly drilling and fracking new wells to tap into previously inaccessible gas reserves. They are making lots of money doing it too. The new "Gold Rush" is fueled by a new fracking technique called high-volume hydraulic fracturing and legal because of the Energy Policy Act of 2005.
In fracking, after a well is drilled, millions of gallons of water, millions of pounds of sand and tons of chemicals are injected. The pressure of the injections allows easier extraction natural gas and oil from shale rock.
The precise scope and facts are unknown because the Energy Policy Act of 2005 created a giant loophole for the natural gas and oil industry. It exempted the industry from the Safe Drinking Water Act of 1974 and from disclosing chemicals used in fracking. The bill was signed by President Bush. Many Democratic Senators voted for the bill including Barack Obama, Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein.
Fracking wastes millions of gallons of water and destroys safe drinking water wells. Hundreds of different chemicals are used in fracking including some known carcinogens and reproductive toxins like benzene and formaldehyde. Fracking chemicals leak into undgerground drinking water aquifers and wells. Water from kitchen faucets in homes near fracking wells ignite into flames.
Fracking causes air pollution too. Evaporated Volatile Organic Compounds, like benzene, create ground level ozone when they combine with diesel exhaust.
The use of fracking is growing. For example, new drilling into shale deposits in California could produce as much as 300,000 barrels of oil by 2014.
Greens support a ban on fracking. Some Democrats in Congress, but not enough, are starting to realize the Greens are on the right track.
11 US Senators and 67 members of the US House of Representatives are co-sponsoring the FRAC Act to remove the loophole that exempts the natural gas industry from the Safe Drinking Water Act and require public disclosure of the chemicals used in fracking.
Remember that just because a bill has introduced doesn't mean it will ever be referred out of committee for a full vote of the US Senate or House. The bills may not even receive a hearing in the committees. 3% of all Senate bills and 4% of all House bills in 2009–2010 were enacted.
Green candidates for President oppose fracking. President Obama supports fracking. In his 2012 State of the Union address, Obama said that government investment in fracking was a clear success.
Greens and greenish Democrats are outspent in Washington, DC by the oil and gas industry. The oil and gas industry donated $238.7 million to candidates and the Democratic and Republican parties since 1990. In 2011 alone, the oil and gas industry spent $149,096,552 on lobbying and paid 790 individual lobbyists, that's more than one lobbyist for every member of Congress.
We can and must ban fracking. We must attempt to pass federal, state and local legislation. State and local legislation may be they best way to avoid oil and gas industry influence in Congress. The State of Vermont banned fracking on May 17, 2012. The number of local ordinances to ban fracking is growing.
If you want to end the dangers of fracking and other dirty energy sources like nuclear power, join the Greens.
Greens know that corporate pollution can and must end. We believe that environmental destruction and corporate control of our government are interconnected.
Greens reject corporate rule over our government and elected officials. We support campaign finance reform and lobbying reform to restore democracy in our country and preserve what's left of our environment and health.