Fracking is already booming in Texas. The Trump administration wants to allow more.
The U.S. Forest Service just proposed ramping up oil and gas drilling across 1.9 million acres of national forests and grasslands in Texas and Louisiana. The industry-friendly move would reverse a 2016 moratorium on any new leasing in the region, which was backed by environmentalists and public health advocates concerned about the impacts from fracking. Their concerns were warranted: Fracking—the process of blasting water, chemicals, and sand at high pressures into the ground to crack open rock and release oil and gas—can cause contamination to nearby drinking water sources and release methane and other planet-warming pollutants. The latest move by the Trump administration could mean 1,500 more wells over the next 20 years—which would produce a massive 32 billion gallons of wastewater and 68 million barrels of oil. Making matters worse, the plan includes drilling below Lake Conroe, the primary source of drinking water for thousands of nearby residents. Looks like there’s really only one winner: Big Oil.