All around the country, people are telling the story of what it’s like to live next door to fracking. Many of them never imagined that polluting drill pads or massive water trucks would come to dominate their small towns or suburban subdivisions. Yet over the last few years, tens of thousands of natural gas wells have been drilled in America.
Energy companies are so hungry for profits they are chasing oil and natural gas wherever they find it—even right near our homes.
People are fighting back by telling the truth about life in the fracking fields. One woman from Butler County, Pennsylvania, for instance, says her sleepy town has been upended. “I am living in an industrial wasteland now. I get to deal with explosions, high traffic, stinky air, and having no water. So yeah, my nice rural community is now an industrial wasteland.”
Residents of Firestone, Colorado north of Denver wonder about the dangers of having drill pads less than 400 feet from a local school playground, especially since scientists have found that people living within a half-mile of fracking operations face greater health risks.
And a woman who lives next to natural gas wells and a compressor station in Bartonville, Texas, has struggled to help her children cope with severe asthma attacks. “I am not an activist, an alarmist, a Democrat, environmentalist or anything like that. I’m just a person who isn’t able to manage the health of my family because of all this drilling.”
These are the stories we need to tell lawmakers and administration officials. They need to hear why it’s so important to create stronger standards for fracking operations. Right now, fracking remains grossly under-regulated because oil and gas companies have managed to block or weaken most attempts to make them clean up their act.
It’s time to change that. Energy companies exert extraordinary influence in state capitols and Congress, but if enough Americans start raising our voices about the dangers of fracking, companies won’t be able to drown us out.
This Saturday we have a great opportunity to amplify our voices. NRDC and our partners are supporting the Stop the Frack Attack rally in Washington on July 28. People will gather from as far away as Texas and Ohio, Idaho and Arkansas to tell Congress, the White House, and the Bureau of Land Management, and the Environmental Protection Agency to put communities first and start issuing stronger safeguards.
In the days before the rally, people from around the country will by meeting with lawmakers and urging them to close the fracking loopholes in environmental laws.
Only by speaking up, describing life in the fracking fields, and demanding action from our representatives we will succeed in protecting our communities. You can start by clicking here and telling the Obama Administration you support new standards for fracking on public lands.