Americans have spoken, and they want the Obama administration to work for the people, not the oil and gas industry.
Today, over 1 million public comments are being delivered to the Bureau of Land Management – the agency that oversees 750 million acres of public lands and minerals. The BLM has been hard at work writing new rules to govern fracking underneath Tribal lands, National Forests, Wildlife Refuges and other special places, beneath more than 50 million acres of privately-owned land, and the drinking water sources for millions of Americans.
The rules, as currently drafted, do little to protect the health of communities and the environment, and the water and air upon which we all rely. They ignore the families who live directly above federal minerals, on “split estate” lands. These families have no recourse when an oil or gas company wants to put a drill rig next to their home, their fields, or their cattle.
Unfortunately, Obama administration has consistently prioritized the oil and gas industry when making these types of decisions, putting industry profits over the public interest. They have pulled out of federal investigations just as they were about to discover that yes, fracking did pollute groundwater and have left an important guidance to protect water from the use of diesel fuel as a fracking fluid stuck in an administrative black hole. And, most alarmingly, in his recent climate speech, President Obama touted increase drilling for natural gas as part of the solution, not the problem, ignoring the facts, ignoring the science.
The Obama administration has a chance to lead, to listen to the 1 million people who favor strong regulations to protect air, water and special places, or want us to ban fracking on our public lands altogether. It’s time to put the health of our children, our precious water resources and the fate of our climate above the profits of a multibillion-dollar industry whose time has come and gone. It’s time to end our reliance on dirty fossil fuels.
One million people demand that President Obama take a stand and stop the assault on our public lands, and its time for him to listen.