Fracking Increasingly Divides US

A national organization announced its formation today, Americans Against Fracking, bringing together more than 100 public health, consumer, environmental and faith-based organizations.

The efforts demonstrates a growing divide in the US. While some laud the sudden, dramatic growth of fracking because it is making the US energy independent and creating jobs, others are working hard to ban it because of its negative environmental and health impacts. 

"Over and over, we’ve seen fracking and drilling for oil and natural gas contaminate water supplies, pollute our air and industrialize rural communities," says Wenonah Hauter, Executive Director of Food & Water Watch. "With the oil and gas industry enjoying so many exemptions from key environmental laws, it’s clear that we can’t regulate ourselves away from this problem. We need to ban fracking now."

Over 1000 cases of water contamination have been reported because of the mixture of unregulated toxic chemicals used, and the industry is such a water guzzler, that its competing with farmers for water.

Former rural communities are turning into industrial zones, with polluted air and water, and the methane that leaks from gas well contributes to climate change.

Annual Energy Outlook 2013

The US Energy Information Agency (EIA) released its "Annual Energy Outlook 2013," which notes the US is on track to produce more energy than it consumes, largely because of fracking, putting us on track to be a net exporter.

"EIA’s updated Reference case shows how evolving consumer preferences, improved technology and economic changes are pushing the nation toward more domestic energy production, greater vehicle efficiency, greater use of clean energy and reduced energy imports," says EIA Administrator Adam Sieminski.

"This combination has markedly reduced projected energy-related carbon dioxide emissions," he says.

Both oil and natural gas production are sharply rising, but the US won’t consume all of that because of rising fuel economy and the use of biofuels in vehicles and the growth of renewables.

But a sustained gas glut would undermine new investments in energy efficiency and renewables, which have zero emissions, and would sustain the world’s fossil fuel addiction for decades.

Here’s the Americans Against Fracking website:

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