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New science and economic findings compel a ban on fracking!
Drilling and fracking contaminate water.
Headline, 1/5/14: 4 States Confirm Water Pollution from Fracking It takes only one bad gas well to ruin an aquifer forever. According to the industrys own records, 5% of well casings fail immediately, and failure rates rise steeply over time.1 Many new studies demonstrate the harms that fracking poses to our waterways and wells. Here are a few of them: A Duke University study linked fracking with nearby groundwater contamination2, corroborating an earlier study that found systematic evidence for methane contamination of drinking water associated with shale gas extraction.3 A University of Texas study linked fracking to drinking water contamination with arsenic. 45 Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection records showed 161 cases of fracking-related water contamination between 2008 and the fall of 2012. 6 Colorado studies revealed more than 350 instances of groundwater contamination from more than 2,000 oil and gas spills in the past five years7 and found hormone-disrupting chemicals in water near drilling sites including in the Colorado River itself.8

Science clearly shows that fracking is inherently dangerous to water and cannot be done safely.

Air pollution from drilling and fracking operations poisons the air.
Headline, 12/10/13: Health Dept. Concerned About Benzene Emissions Near Local Gas Drilling Sites Drilling and fracking operations and their associated infrastructuretrucks, compressor stations, pipelines, flare stacksproduce smog and hazardous air pollutants that raise risks for asthma, stroke, low birth weight, and cancer. Here is evidence from some of the recent studies: The Colorado School of Public Health found air pollutants near fracking sites at levels sufficient to raise risks for cancer, neurological deficits and respiratory problems. 9 County health department tests at fracking sites in West Virginia revealed dangerous levels of air contaminants, prompting the health department administrator to warn, The levels of benzene really pop out. . . .The concerns of the public are validated.10 Medical experts at a single rural clinic in Pennsylvania documented health problems in 20 individuals likely caused by airborne exposures to emissions from nearby fracking operations. 1112 American Lung Association data show worse air quality in intensely fracked rural areas than in urban areas.13

As these studies illustrate, fracking is deadly to our air qualityand air quality is essential to our health.

Fracking and wastewater disposal are increasingly linked to earthquakes.

Headline, 12/12/13: Experts Eye Oil and Gas Industry as Quakes Shake Oklahoma A few reasons for alarm:

The New York Times reported thousands of earthquakes in Oklahoma following fracking and wastewater injection wells. State officials say they are concerned, and residents accustomed to tornadoes and hail are now talking about buying earthquake insurance.14 A study by Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory found that injection of fracking waste stress geological faults in ways that make them vulnerable to earthquake swarms.15 Scientists linked a 2011 swarm of earthquakes to wastewater disposal, including a magnitude 5.7 earthquake that injured two people, destroyed 14 homes, and was felt across 17 states.1617 In three sets of comments on proposed New York State fracking guidelines, the NYC Department of Environmental Protection raised serious concerns about the impacts of potential seismic activity from fracking-related activities on New York City's water and water supply infrastructure.181920

The bottom line is that fracking and disposal of fracking wastewatera problem with no good solution21 undermines geological stability and raises risks for earthquakes, so threatening people's water and homes.

The jobs and economic promises of fracking are over-hyped, short-lived, and overstated. What fracking does bring to communities are crime and blight.
Headline, 11/21/13: Study: Pro-fracking job numbers are greatly 'exaggerated' A snippet of the evidence: According to a report by the Multi-State Shale Research Collaborative, the industrys claim that 31 direct jobs are created by every gas well is off by a factor of 8. Instead, each well creates only 4 jobs. Says Frank Mauro, executive director of the Fiscal Policy Institute: Industry supporters have exaggerated the jobs impact in order to minimize or avoid altogether taxation, regulation, and even careful examination of shale drilling.22 In a September, 2013 feature titled Pa. Fracking Boom Goes Bust, The Philadelphia Inquirer detailed flat at best job growth and declines in production and royalty payments.23 The New York Times reported striking increases in drilling-related crime in Montana and North Dakota, including significant increases in violent crimes, drunken driving, theft and rape24, as have other studies across the nation.25

These new findings compound existing fears about the frackings impact on property values and associated job losses in agriculture, tourism and real estate. In short, fracking is neither the job creator nor economic boon the industry promised, but it does wreak havoc on communities where it takes place.

Fracking exacerbates climate change.

Headline, 11/25/13: Emissions of Methane in U.S. Exceed Estimates, Study Finds The recent science includes: A major study led by Harvard found that the EPA is significantly underestimating methane discharges from oil and gas production.26 Updated Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change measurements found that methane is even worse for the climate than previously thought: Over a 100-year time scale, methane is 34 times more potent in the atmosphere than CO2; over 20 years, 86 times more potent.27 A recent major study spearheaded by Stanford University's Energy Modeling Forum concluded that fracking and the shale gas revolution will have no long-term climate benefit.28 Two National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration studies of methane emissions from oil and gas drilling in Colorado and Utah found emissions at levels damaging to the climate.2930

Far from a bridge fuel, fracked gas sends us on a wasteful detour and spells disaster for the climate.

For the sake of all citizens and the future of our state, New York must ban fracking! (More information and all footnoted references can be found at

1 2

Claudio Brufatto et al. From Mud to Cement Building Gas Wells, Oilfield Review, Autumn 2003, at 63. Robert Jackson et al., Increased stray gas abundance in a subset of drinking water wells near Marcellus shale gas extraction , PNAS EARLY EDITION (Jun. 3, 2013), available at

"Methane Levels 17 Times Higher in Water Wells Near Hydrofracking Sites." DUKE UNIVERSITY NICHOLAS SCHOOL OF THE ENVIRONMENT. (May 9, 2011) 4 Brian Fontenot et al., An evaluation of water quality in private drinking water wells near natural gas extraction sites in the Barnett Shale Formation, ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY (Jul. 25, 1983), available at 5 Id. 6 Laura Legere, Sunday Times review of DEP drilling records reveals water damage, murky testing methods , THETIMES-TRIBUNE.COM (May 19, 2013), 7 Bruce Finley, Drilling spills reaching Colorado groundwater; state mulls test rules, THE DENVER POST (Dec. 9, 2012), (Oil and gas have contaminated groundwater in 17 percent of the 2,078 spills and slow releases that companies reported to state regulators over the past five years). 8 Banerjee, Neela. "Hormone-disrupting chemicals found in water at fracking sites." LOS ANGELES TIMES. (December 16, 2013),0,5154343.story#ixzz2nkllq6TS. 9 Colorado School of Public Health, Study shows air emissions near fracking sites may have serious health impacts , @THEFOREFRONT (Mar. 19, 2012), %28%40theForefront%29. 10 Junkins, Casey. "Health Dept. Concerned About Benzene Emissions Near Local Gas Drilling Sites." THE INTELLIGENCER. (December 10, 2013) 11 Lindsay Abrams, Frackings real health risk may be from air pollution , SALON (Aug. 26, 2013), 12 Larysa Dyrszka et al., Statement on Preliminary Findings from the Southwest Pennsylvania Environmental Health Project Study , Concerned Health Professionals of NY (Aug. 27, 2013), available at 13 2013. Environmental Defense Fund. Clean Air Report Card: CO, WY Counties Get Fs Due To Oil And Gas Pollution (April 29, 2013) 14 Fountain, Henry. "Experts Eye Oil and Gas Industry as Quakes Shake Oklahoma." NEW YORK TIMES. (December 12, 2013) 15 Sharon Begley, Study raises new concern about earthquakes and fracking fluids , REUTERS (Jul. 11, 2013), 16 Mark Drajem & Jim Efstathiou Jr., Quake Tied to Oil-Drilling Waste Adds Pressure for Rules, BLOOMBERG (Mar. 27, 2013), 17 Michael Behar, Fracking's Latest Scandal? Earthquake Swarms, MOTHER JONES (Mar./Apr. 2013), 18 The City of New York, New York City Comments on dSGEIS for Oil, Gas, and Solution Mining Regulatory Program , 47 (Dec. 22, 2009), available at 19 New York City Department of Environmental Protection, Comments on the Revised Draft Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement on the Oil, Gas and Solution Mining Regulatory Program (September 7, 2011) (Jan. 11, 2012), available at 20 New York City Department of Environmental Protection, Comments on the Revised High-Volume Hydraulic Fracturing Regulations (November 30, 2012) (Jan. 7, 2013), available at 713.pdf. 21 NRDC, In Frackings Wake: New Rules are Needed to Protect Our Health and Environment from Contaminated Wastewater (May 2012), available at 22 Campbell, Jon. "Report: Industry-backed studies exaggerate fracking job estimates." POLITICS ON THE HUDSON. (November 21, 2013) 23 Will Bunch, Pa. fracking boom goes bust, PHILLY.COM (Sep. 12, 2013), 24 Jack Healy. "As Oil Floods Plains Towns, Crime Pours In." NEW YORK TIMES. (November 30, 2013)


Brendan Gibbons, Environmental groups calculate social cost of natural gas boom , THETIMES-TRIBUNE.COM (Sep. 25, 2013), 26 Michael Wines. "Emissions of Methane Exceed Estimates." New York Times. (Nov. 26, 2013) at A14. 27 Joe Romm. "More Bad News For Fracking: IPCC Warns Methane Traps Much More Heat Than We Thought." THINK PROGRESS. (October 2, 2013) 28 Hillard Huntington. "Changing the Game? Emissions and Market Implications of New Natural Gas Supplies." Energy Modeling Forum. (October, 2013) 29 Jeff Tollefson. "Methane leaks erode green credentials of natural gas." NATURE. January 2, 2011) 30 Jeff Tollefson. "Air sampling reveals high emissions from gas field." NATURE. (February 7, 2012)