Obama flooded with 1M comments slamming fracking

Tools

The public comment period for the Department of Interior Bureau of Land Management's (BLM) second version of its Proposed "Oil and Gas; Hydraulic Fracturing on Federal and Indian Lands" rule, which apply to more than 750 million acres of public lands and minerals, is now closed and the Obama Administration has received nearly 1 million comments from passionate people across the country -- the bulk of which ask Obama to stop fracking on public lands. 

The Obama Administration's advisory panel on fracking recommended the "[p]reservation of unique and/or sensitive areas as off limits to drilling," but the proposed BLM rule has no provisions to restrict fracking from any public lands, according to claims by Environment America.

Currently, the proposed rules are -- at best -- seen as "inadequate."

"These rules will determine what safeguards against fracking are or are not in place for more than 750 million acres across the country, from California to Virginia," said Amy Mall of the Natural Resources Defense Council. "Unfortunately, the current draft is woefully inadequate to protect public health and the environment. The fate of not only America's wild places, but private residences for thousands and drinking water supplies for millions depends on the Obama Administration dramatically strengthening these rules."

Although more than half of the one million comments submitted to the BLM call for a ban on fracking on all public lands, others just want to make sure hydraulic fracturing operations are done properly.

"BLM must strengthen its rule to ensure in advance of operations that drilling and hydraulic fracturing will be done right. The BLM rule should demand geologic studies to 'look before you drill,' including identification of faults, fracture zones and nearby abandoned wells that could possibly conduct fluids and methane to the surface," said Dr. Bruce Hill, senior geologist with Clean Air Task Force.  "BLM should also require a demonstration of the integrity of every well prior to hydraulic fracturing and periodic monitoring of all potentially affected sources of useable water.  As stewards of America's public lands, BLM has a duty to ensure that water resources--that will be counted on for many generations-- are not irreversibly contaminated in the quest for short-term oil and gas resources."

For more:
- see the proposed rule

Related Article:
Protests, letter call for Obama to ban fracking on federal lands