Oil, gas, and other fossil fuels come with grave consequences for our health and our future. Digging these fuels out of the ground turns people’s backyards and treasured wild places into industrial zones, and burning them causes climate change as well as contributes to asthma, heart disease, and cancer.
NRDC is pushing America to move beyond these dirty fuels. We fight dangerous energy development on all fronts—from offshore oil rigs in the Arctic Ocean to fracking rigs in people’s backyards. We take reckless energy companies to court and push for stronger state and national safeguards. At the same time, we use our clean energy expertise to promote safer ways to power the economy.
We were one of the first groups to call international attention to the destructive power of tar sands oil, the use of which requires strip-mining the wild Boreal forest in Canada and generating enormous amounts of toxic waste and 17 percent more climate change pollution than conventional crude.
By spotlighting the climate implications of tar sands oil development, we have galvanized influential leaders and concerned citizens to campaign against pipelines that would lock America into decades of tar sands use. And we help advance clean energy solutions—in both Canada and the United States—that reduce the need for dirty tar sands oil.
NRDC is also working to keep communities safe from unchecked fracking operations. For years, the oil and gas industry has fracked hundreds of thousands of new wells in small towns, suburban communities, urban neighborhoods, and wild landscapes. In fact, more than 15 million Americans live within one mile of a fracking site.
Unchecked fracking has been linked to air pollution, water contamination, and other serious health risks. Yet a lack of regulation and oversight has allowed oil and gas producers to disregard potential harm to communities. NRDC is fighting back by calling for much stronger safeguards and helping communities regulate or block fracking within their borders.