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Statement of Earthworks Policy Director Lauren Pagel

In response to over 1 million comments asking the Administration to protect our public lands, air and water from fracking, the White House responded with some concrete steps that will curb some problems with fracking on public lands, but still falls short of the protections Americans deserve. The Bureau of Land Management is the largest manager of mineral rights in the US.

“We had hoped that in the final years of his Administration, President Obama would stop averting his eyes from the dangers of unconventional oil and gas development and take strong action to address fracking.

The BLM fracking rule is a significant improvement over business-as-usual. For the first time, the BLM will prohibit fracking waste pits on public lands, and require oil and gas companies to test the integrity of every well to help prevent pollution.

But, in other important ways this rule falls short of what is needed to protect communities and the environment and continues the Obama administration’s pattern of prioritizing fossil fuel extraction over clean energy development and people’s health.

The Obama Administration should have the courage of its convictions, and put the health of our children, our drinking water, and the fate of our global climate above the profits of a multibillion-dollar industry.

It’s time to break our addiction to dirty fossil fuels, protect our public lands and the global climate.”