Environmental Group Calls for Fracking Ban in New Report

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - MAY 30: A protestor holds a sign during a demonstration against fracking in California outside of the Hiram W. Johnson State Office Building on May 30, 2013 in San Francisco, California. Dozens of protesters with the group Californians Against Fracking staged a protest outside of California Gov. Jerry Brown's San Francisco offices demanding that Gov. Brown ban fracking in the state.
National Journal
Clare Foran
Oct. 3, 2013, 8:58 a.m.

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 »
WARRING FACTIONS?
Freedom Caucus Members May Bolt the RSC
2 hours ago
WHY WE CARE

The Republican Study Committee may lose several members of the House Freedom Caucus next year, "potentially creating a split between two influential groups of House conservatives." The Freedom Caucus was founded at the inception of the current Congress by members who felt that the conservative RSC had gotten too cozy with leadership, "and its roughly 40 members have long clashed with the RSC over what tactics to use when pushing for conservative legislation." As many as 20 members may not join the RSC for the new Congress next year.

Source:
SOME THERAPIES ALREADY IN TRIALS
FDA Approves Emergency Zika Test
3 hours ago
THE LATEST

"The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Monday issued emergency authorization for a Zika diagnostics test from Swiss drugmaker Roche, skirting normal approval channels as the regulator moves to fight the disease's spread." Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal reports that a new study in Nature identifies "about a dozen substances" that could "suppress the pathogen's replication." Some of them are already in clinical trials.

Source:
MONEY HAS BEEN PAID BACK
Medicare Advantage Plans Overcharged Government
4 hours ago
THE DETAILS

According to 37 newly released audits, "some private Medicare plans overcharged the government for the majority of elderly patients they treated." A number of Medicare Advantage plans overstated "the severity of medical conditions like diabetes and depression." The money has since been paid back, though some plans are appealing the federal audits.

Source:
DESPITE CONSERVATIVE OBJECTIONS
Omnibus Spending Bill Likely Getting a Lame-Duck Vote
4 hours ago
WHY WE CARE

"GOP leaders and House Democrats are already laying the groundwork for a short-term continuing resolution" on the budget this fall "that will set up a vote on a catch-all spending bill right before the holidays." As usual, however, the House Freedom Caucus may throw a wrench in Speaker Paul Ryan's gears. The conservative bloc doesn't appear willing to accept any CR that doesn't fund the government into 2017.

Source:
FBI WARNS STATES
Foreign Agents Have Hacked State Voting Databases
5 hours ago
THE DETAILS

"The FBI has uncovered evidence that foreign hackers penetrated two state election databases in recent weeks, prompting the bureau to warn election officials across the country to take new steps to enhance the security of their computer systems." Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson earlier this month conferred with state election officials, offering his department's assistance in scanning for vulnerabilities."

Source:
×