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Statement of Jennifer Krill, EARTHWORKS Executive Director, on the passage of HR 3534, the Consolidated Land, Energy, and Aquatic Resources Act of 2010

WASHINGTON, D.C., July 30 — “”Today the U.S. Congress takes is taking an important step towards establishing some protections for communities facing oil and gas production in their backyard. The House voted 209 to 193 to pass the CLEAR Act, which will establish important reforms in both offshore and onshore oil and gas extraction to protect communities, our water and our air from damage caused by the reckless development of energy resources.

Specifically, EARTHWORKS is pleased that the CLEAR Act eliminates the threat to rivers and streams by closing the oil and gas construction loophole in the Clean Water Act and also ensures science-based review of environmental impacts at drill sites under the National Environmental Policy Act.

The removal of these two exemptions is only a piece of a larger reform that is needed to ensure that oil and gas production is carried out in a way that protects communities and the environment. Unfortunately, communities continue to be threatened, and in many cases, damaged, by tThe oil and gas industry also continues to enjoys profit from exemptions under the Safe Drinking Water Act for hydraulic fracturing, the Clean Air Act for air pollution emissions, as well as exemptions from the Solid Waste Disposal ActResource Conservation and Recovery Act and the Toxics Release Inventory.

In order to ensure protection for the environment, communities and safe drinking water in the 34 states where oil and gas is produced, the oil and gas industry must be held to the highest standards.

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