Hydraulic fracturing, also known as “fracking,” is a method of extracting gas that involves pumping a mixture of water and chemicals at high pressure into the ground. Many of the chemical used are known to be toxic, and fracking uses immense quantities of water, causes groundwater contamination, releases the greenhouse gas methane into the air, and has even been linked earthquakes.
Given the corrupt conduct of some companies in the fracking industry, the reluctance of the government bureaucracies to regulate this industry, and the cascade of new information and disclosures about the health and environmental perils associated with this extraction method, Waterkeeper Alliance opposes shale gas extraction by hydrofracking unless, and until, the industry proves it can be done safely to protect human health and the environment. Waterkeeper Alliance and partners submitted comments in February to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), vigorously opposing what would become the first gas export terminal on the West Coast – the Jordan Cove and Pacific Connector Pipeline Project in Oregon. More than 25,000 citizens joined in opposition, sending comments critical of FERC’s analysis of the project.