Are national parks next to be fracked?

by Carolyn Auwaerter

August 19, 2013

The Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming

The Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming

The national parks system has been called America’s best idea.If that’s true, then fracking on the doorstep of those parks might possibly be its worst.

But that’s exactly what the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) that controls public lands around national parks has proposed.It wants new regulations so weak they would allow oil and gas companies to frack right next to national park land.And that could be disastrous.

Fracking uses huge volumes of water mixed with dangerous chemicals to blast open rock formations and extract oil and gas.It also pollutes groundwater, causes air pollution, and endangers the surrounding environment and communities.

We have just 96 hours left in the public comment period to get the BLM to withdraw its weak regulations and put in place a ban on fracking on public land instead.

Join us in telling the Bureau of Land Management: this land is our land, not the oil and gas industrys. Ban fracking on public land.

Our public lands cant take more fracking. Already, parks like Rocky Mountain National Park that have oil and gas operations nearby are facing environmental damage.

With these new regulations, national parks across the country from Canyonlands to the Grand Tetons would be at risk of becoming obscured by smog and polluted by drilling wastewater. The animal and plant species dependent upon those lands could face habitat loss. And people living nearby could suffer from health effects.

Almost 300 million people visit national parks each year to experience nature untarnished by development. And now that is in jeopardy, all to satisfy the oil and gas industrys lust for profit.

Explosive Water from Fracturing

Explosive Water from Fracturing

The best way to protect these national treasures and our air, water, health and climate from fracking is to simply prohibit this inherently dangerous form of fossil fuel extraction altogether. Banning fracking on our public lands is the perfect place to start.

There are only 96 hours left to tell the federal government to take the only real path to protect us and our national treasures: ban fracking on public lands. Send in your comment now.

Last month President Obama established a Climate Action Plan, declaring, “Someday, our children, and our childrens children, will look at us in the eye and they’ll ask us, did we do all that we could when we had the chance to deal with this problem and leave them a cleaner, safer, more stable world?”

Fracking on the doorstep of our national parks is not the path to the cleaner, safer and more stable world the President was talking about for our children.Its the same path that has led us to where we are right now giving away coal from public lands, opening up the pristine Arctic for drilling and pushing us closer to the point of no return on climate change.

Theres no place for fracking on the doorstep of our national parks.Take action today and tell the federal government to ban fracking on public lands.

Carolyn Auwaerter

By Carolyn Auwaerter

Carolyn Auwaerter is a Field Organizing Manager at Greenpeace USA. She works on climate and renewable energy in the southeast and Greenpeace's Food for Life campaign.

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