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What the Frack Is Happening? Hailing the Major Activist Victories in the Anti-Fracking Movement

March 31, 2015 in Blogs

By Reynard Loki, AlterNet

From the aggressive anti-fracking moves in Maryland to a statewide ban in New York, the anti-fracking movement is alive and well.

The nation's first federal regulations on fracking, unveiled by the Obama administration last week, sparked immediate criticism from leading anti-fracking activists.

Americans Against Fracking, a coalition of 250 environmental and liberal groups that includes Greenpeace, 350.org, MoveOn.org, CREDO, Food & Water Watch, Rainforest Action Network and Friends of the Earth, issued a statement characterizing the new rules—meant chiefly to reduce the threat of fracking-related water contamination—as “toothless.”

Actor and activist Mark Ruffalo, who serves on the Americans Against Fracking advisory board, said that Obama's fracking regulations “are nothing more than a giveaway to the oil and gas industry.” The group's goal is a complete fracking ban on federal land, where as many as 100,00 oil and gas wells have been drilled.

The new rules apply only to oil and gas drilling on federal lands, which represent about 25 percent of the national fossil fuel output and only some 10 percent of the nation's fracking. The rules don't apply to drilling on private or state-owned land. Currently, fracking occurs in 22 states.

Since states are responsible for regulating most of the fracking in the U.S., the anti-fracking battlefield—a patchwork of communities around the nation taking a stand to protect their air, water and soil–is understandably a bit fractured. With that in mind, here's a brief look around the country at some recent fracktivist highlights at the state and local level.

California

February 6. Over 8,000 activists gathered in Oakland for the March for Real Climate Leadership, the largest anti-fracking demonstration in U.S. history.

February 24. Bolstered by an admission by California state regulators that oil companies are disposing toxic waste into protected aquifers in violation of the federal Safe Drinking Water Act, more than 150 environmental and community groups filed a legal petition urging the governor to use his emergency powers to place a moratorium on fracking.

March 20. California state Senator Fran Pavley (D-Agoura Hills) and other lawmakers sent a letter to Gov. Jerry Brown urging him to “<a target=_blank href="http://feeds.feedblitz.com/~/t/0/0/alternet/~www.biologicaldiversity.org/programs/public_lands/energy/dirty_energy_development/oil_and_gas/pdfs/Pavley_sign_on_ltr_to_Gov_Injec.pdf" …read more

Source: ALTERNET

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