WASHINGTON, D.C. – By a vote of 235-187, the U.S. House of Representatives today approved its latest giveaway to the oil and gas industry: a bill to boost ‘fracking,’ the dirty process of drilling that has contaminated water supplies from Pennsylvania to New Mexico and is making families near drilling sites sick from air pollution.
The bill, H.R. 2728, sponsored by Rep. Flores (R-TX), would roll back the federal government’s ability to protect federal lands and the communities that rely on them from fracking, deferring to a patchwork of state rules and guidelines no matter how weak or inadequate they may be.
The bill would also delay EPA’s congressionally mandated study on fracking’s impacts on groundwater, keeping important data about water contamination from families living near fracking sites.
Environment Arizona’s State Advocate, Bret Fanshaw, issued the following statement in response:
“Fracking is already wreaking havoc on our environment and health across the country. America’s public lands – including the White River National Forest in Colorado and Chaco Canyon in New Mexico - should be protected for all Americans to enjoy. However, this reckless bill puts our special places and the communities that rely on them for drinking water and recreation at risk from fracking.
“We are dismayed that Arizona’s U.S. Representatives Ann Kirkpatrick, Trent Franks, Paul Gosar, David Schweikert and Matt Salmon voted in favor of this reckless bill. The Obama administration has thankfully indicated opposition to the bill, and we urge our U.S. Senators John McCain and Jeff Flake to reject this and any other giveaways to the oil and gas industry. Congress should instead act to stop fracking and protect our public lands, water, and health.”