Environment America, a group of state-based environmental advocacy organizations, released a report Thursday called “Fracking by the Numbers,” which quantifies damage done by fracking across the United States.
According to the report, fracking operations in the U.S. generated 280 billion gallons of toxic waste water in 2012. The report also found that, since 2005, fracking has used 250 billion gallons of fresh water, degraded 360,000 acres, and released 100 million metric tons of global warming pollutants into the atmosphere.
In August, the Interior Department’s Bureau of Land Management ended the public comment period on a proposed rule to regulate fracking on federal and Indian lands. BLM has not yet said when it expects to finalize the rule.
During a phone call with reporters, however, John Rumpler, a senior attorney for Environment America, said that the regulations are not enough. Instead, he said, the administration should ban hydraulic fracturing altogether.
“The numbers on fracking add up to an environmental nightmare. Constructing a regulatory regime sufficient to protect our water and our health … seems implausible at best,” Rumpler said, adding: “At the end of the day, protecting our environment and public health will require a ban on fracking.”
Katie Brown, a spokesperson for Energy in Depth, a pro-oil and gas-drilling group, called the findings baseless. “Environment America’s latest report simply repackages tired and thoroughly debunked claims. The actual numbers show that natural gas and hydraulic fracturing are slashing air pollution, rapidly reducing greenhouse gases, and creating hundreds of thousands of jobs,” she said in a statement.
What We're Following See More »
"Even if House Republicans manage to get enough members of their party on board with the latest version of their health care bill, they will face another battle in the Senate: whether the bill complies with the chamber’s arcane ... Byrd rule, which stipulates all provisions in a reconciliation bill must affect federal spending and revenues in a way that is not merely incidental." Democrats should have the advantage in that fight, "unless the Senate pulls another 'nuclear option.'”
The House has passed a one-week spending bill that will avert a government shutdown which was set to begin at midnight. Lawmakers now have an extra week to come to a longer agreement which is expected to fund the government through the end of the fiscal year in September. The legislation now goes to the Senate, where it is expected to pass before President Trump signs it.
President Trump’s portrayal of an effort to funnel more Medicaid dollars to Puerto Rico as a "bailout" is complicating negotiations over a continuing resolution on the budget. "House Democrats are now requiring such assistance as a condition for supporting the continuing resolution," a position that the GOP leadership is amenable to. "But Mr. Trump’s apparent skepticism aligns him with conservative House Republicans inclined to view its request as a bailout, leaving the deal a narrow path to passage in Congress."
Democrats in the House are threatening to shut down the government if Republicans expedite a vote on a bill to repeal and replace Obamacare, said Democratic House Whip Steny Hoyer Thursday. Lawmakers have introduced a one-week spending bill to give themselves an extra week to reach a long-term funding deal, which seemed poised to pass easily. However, the White House is pressuring House Republicans to take a vote on their Obamacare replacement Friday to give Trump a legislative victory, though it is still not clear that they have the necessary votes to pass the health care bill. This could go down to the wire.