The Obama administration just released its first major fracking policy–the Bureau of Land Management’s proposed rules for fracking on 600 million acres of public land. And it’s even worse than we feared. In a major concession to the fracking industry and its lobbying efforts, the proposed rules are even weaker than previous drafts of the rules. And they do nothing to close Dick Cheney’s infamous “Halliburton loophole,” which exempts fracking from key parts of the Safe Drinking Water Act and the Clean Water Act.
Of course, it’s become clear that there is simply no safe way to frack. So even worse than the specific concessions made to industry in the draft regulations is the assumption that fracking should be allowed to continue on federal lands despite overwhelming evidence that it endangers our air, water and climate. The BLM is accepting public comments on its proposed fracking rules for 30 days. We need to let the administration know that these rules are totally inadequate. The administration needs to ban fracking on public lands – not cave to the industry and endanger our health and safety.
An area of federal land larger than the entire state of Florida is currently under lease for oil and gas extraction, so this is one of the most important fracking policy decisions the Obama administration will make.