Fracking Lights Up the Night Sky: Take Action to Kick Our Newest Fossil Fuel Addiction

When NASA snapped some photos of the US at night, Americans may have been surprised to find our domestic fossil fuel extraction… well, illuminated. NPR published a piece on the light created by burning natural gas, which is being flared off as a byproduct of “fracking” or extracting oil and gas trapped in rock formations underground. A lot of gas is being burned to create that huge cluster of light in the middle of rural North Dakota, and that’s because we’re in the midst of a huge fracking boom. Aside from the incredible wastefulness and emissions of flaring off the natural gas, there’s also mounting evidence that water pollution, air pollution, and widespread community health problems go hand in hand with fracking. Check out the harrowing documentary film Gasland from our Library, or read these articles about water contamination in Pennsylvania from Bloomberg News, or this one about a case in Wyoming from Nature. To find out how you can take action, read on.

All these reports, articles, films and more are indicators of the national debate that will shape our energy future, climate policies, and environmental regulation. In his inaugural address on Monday, President Obama put himself front and center in this conversation by saying, “We will respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations.” Unfortunately, the debate (let alone any policies) aren’t keeping pace with the rate that oil and gas companies are developing, drilling and fracking new wells in places like North Dakota, Wyoming, Pennsylvania and New York. If we use the precautionary principle to guide our actions for the greatest benefit to future generations as Obama intends, fracking is not a viable part of a clean, safe domestic energy plan. Food and Water Watch is urging for thousands of calls to the White House today, January 25, 2013!

Here are more ways you can take action, today and beyond:

  • Food & Water Watch’s California Action page has a fact sheet and petition for you to join the effort to ban fracking in our state.
  • On February 1, 2013, the Center for Biological Diversity is organizing “Don’t Frack Our Wildlands” Rally in San Francisco, click here for details.
  • Global Exchange has a Community Rights Campaign about fracking, to support communities to ban fracking where they live. A statewide event tour for April, 2013 on this topic is being planned, email shannon at for details.

[Photo by NPR/NASA]

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