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April 12, 2012

The Need to Stop Fracking Air Pollution and the Industry's Desire to Keep the Status Quo

PA drill site2webThe Environmental Protection Agency is days away from putting in place the first federal safeguards designed to protect Americans from the harmful effects of hydraulic fracturing, or ‘fracking.’ This protection will cut down the massive amount of air pollution that this reckless industry creates every day. 

But, as these life-saving protections are set to come into place, the American Petroleum Institute (API) and the American Natural Gas Alliance (ANGA) are dead set on stopping them.  Their scare tactics and bogus claims are threatening to put the brakes on a much needed air protection from fracking.

EPA’s forth-coming safeguards are similar to those already in place in some states, including Wyoming and Colorado. The agency is creating nationwide standards which will make it easier for the natural gas industry to cut down its pollution.

The natural gas industry is known for its fast pace in drilling and fracking new wells. If there is one thing the industry is good at, it is creating the infrastructure needed to support this rapid growth.  Implementing these safeguards ares no different. 

Right now the natural gas industry exploits numerous loopholes that allow them to frack fast and frack dangerously.  Putting this air protection in place will not affect their expansion and in fact will benefit the millions of families living near the frack fields.

These EPA safeguards effectively cleans up the reckless air pollution caused by the natural gas industry by asking them to simply plug the holes in their equipment. This actually allows the industry to capture more natural gas coming up their well hole and get more of it to market instead of dumping it into our air. Research has shown EPA's action will save the natural gas industry $30 million annually. So this common sense air protection is good for human health and will save the industry money.

What API and ANGA are not telling you is that clean air safeguards for natural gas production have not been updated in decades and are in critical need of improvement. Estimates from EPA and outside researchers show massive amounts of pollutants and toxics being dumped into our air every day.  Families and children that live near active natural gas wells are becoming sick and air quality is becoming worse. These air protections are long overdue.

Nothing is more important than ensuring our air is clean and our children are safe. EPA’s proposed air protections need to be put into place immediately.  EPA must resist industry’s attack on these critical health protections.

Help us remind President Obama to see through the natural gas industry’s bogus arguments.  We need him to protect our clean air from fracking now.

-- Deb Nardone, Director of the Sierra Natural Gas Reform Campaign

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