4 New Fracking Victories to Improve Your Day

While most of the news we’ve heard about fracking in recent years has been horrible, the tides may finally be turning. It seems that communities, politicians and even juries are now speaking out against the dangerous practice. Here are four fracking updates from the past month that can provide environmentalists with a sense of optimism:

1. Cities Are Moving to Preemptively Ban Fracking

Despite the gas industry eyeing California as a place for drilling, the state’s first municipality has decided to preemptively ban fracking. By a unanimous vote, the Beverly Hills city council agreed that fracking was dangerous to the environment and its residents and that it should not be permitted within city limits.

Some have criticized the fact that an affluent city is simply pushing fracking off to poorer areas instead. However, councilmember John Mirsch insists that their hope is to lead the way and inspire others to get rid of fracking. “This is not a ‘not in my backyard issue’ – it shouldn’t be in anyone’s backyard,” he said.

Leaders from other nearby cities attended the council meetings in the hopes of bringing the same information to their own respective governing bodies. Among these cities is Los Angeles, which is currently working on a similar proposal to ban fracking in the nation’s second largest city.

 

2. Ohio Is Finally Listening to the Research on Fracking-Caused Earthquakes

After a series of minor earthquakes shook Ohio 11 times in the past couple of months, state researchers looked into finding the source of the earth’s unrest. In a surprisingly unprecedented move, Ohio state officials declared a direct causation between fracking and the quakes. “Geologists believe the sand and water injected into the well during the hydraulic fracturing process may have increased pressure on an unknown micro-fault in the area,” announced an official press release.

Although the geologists are not able to say with 100% certainty that fracking is causing the shakes, they feel quite confident in the link. Confident enough, in fact, that Ohio is taking preliminary measures to prevent subsequent quakes. Not only will new fracking wells not be forbidden in the area that has experienced seismographic activity, but the existing drilling in the area has also been suspended.

 

3. Congress Is Starting to Call Out the EPA’s Lack of Action

Seeing that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been notoriously lax in enforcing regulations, eight members of Congress are calling on the agency to both “investigate and address” the quality of water in fracking communities in Pennsylvania, Texas, and Wyoming. Headed by Democratic Representative from Pennsylvania Matt Cartwright, the members of Congress claim that “a lack of enforcement [has] forced  communities living in and near to heavily drilled areas to pay the price for the boom.”

Although the EPA originally found that fracking was ruining local drinking water supplies, it never officially concluded its investigations, thereby failing to improve standards for the fracking industry. The politicians’ goal is to prevent the EPA from idly standing by and intentionally not holding gas companies accountable for their destruction.

 

4. Victims of Fracking Win Big in Court

This past week marked the major legal victory in favor of a family being harmed by nearby fracking activity. A jury awarded the Parr family of Decatur, Texas about $3 million for their suffering due to irresponsible activities by Aruba Petroleum.

Shortly after wells went up close to the Parr’s home, the entire family began experiencing strange health problems, including nausea, rashes, nosebleeds, sight and memory impairment. Lisa Parr’s doctor identified 20 toxic, petroleum-based chemicals in her body. Furthermore, the Parrs’s pets and livestock started to mysteriously die, and their neighbors got sick, as well.

While there have been similar cases settled outside of court, this is the first time a jury has declared fracking dangerous to people’s health, which will hopefully set a precedent. Meanwhile, Aruba Petroleum maintains that it caused no harm to the Parr family and that the company will appeal the verdict.

85 comments

Jim Ven
Jim Ven7 months ago

thanks for the article.

Carrie-Anne Brown

thanks for sharing :)

Janice Thompson
Janice Thompson2 years ago

If the EPA isn't doing their job, disband it.

Mark Donners
Mark Donner2 years ago

Ignore David F. He's a shill for the fracking barons. There's technology to do what fracking does but the companies involved don't care how many die for their profits. The price people will pay for the Gas Barons' greedy destruction will be in the trillions.. you can't even quote a price for irreparable environmental damage that destroys life for millions of years. if you want to put it caps, the only solution is ELIMINATE FOSSIL FUEL COMPANIES.

E A.
Ei R.2 years ago

I hope the dangers of fracking are finally coming to people's attention.

Carole R.
Carole R.2 years ago

Good to hear something positive for a change.

Maria Teresa Schollhorn

Great news! Thanke you.

Jocelyn Chouinard

Revamp the EPA ASAP, as they are only servants to Big filthy planetary trashing 0il and Gas, Monsanto, Factory Farms of Torture and Disease and a host of other really fun and loverly corporations that really seem to be dead set on destroying us and our planet as quickly as possible.

Alina Kanaski
Alina Kanaski2 years ago

Thanks for sharing!

Simon Tucker
Simon Tucker2 years ago

Re the EPA: at the end of the day they are government agencies and they will pay lip service to contentious issues unless they happen to accord with what the government wants. We have DEFRA, equivalent to your EPA, who carry out government policy regardless of how dumb and anti-science it might be. There used to be a rein on their excesses called English Nature but that was emasculated to rubber stamp government policy. When some of their scientists spoke out about the futility of the badger cull the government replaced the head and the second in command with contributors to their party funds whose backgrounds are in property development.