Thanks to a petition put together by CREDO Action, a grassroots political advocacy group, the ban on hydraulic fracturing for natural gas (usually referred to as fracking) in the Delaware River Basin is still in place. 40,000 people from Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey and Delaware rallied behind the petition, which cancelled a meeting that was to be held by the Delaware River Basin Commission, saving the drinking water of 15 million people that live in the area.
Fracking is a process in which gas industry engineers drill deep into the rock beneath the earth’s surface and crack apart shale rocks with a mix of water and chemicals in order to release natural gas trapped within the shale. The processes has come under fire from activists, scientists, public health officials and people who worked on its development (read the transcript of this This American Life episode to learn about Tony Ingraffea’s push against fracking) for being destructive to surrounding environment, contaminating well water, having a larger carbon footprint than coal, and causing earthquakes.
“First Keystone XL was delayed. And now a plan to frack the drinking water source for over 15 million Americans has been stalled because of a massive public outcry,” said Elijah Zarlin of CREDO Action. “People need to be able to drink their water, not light it on fire. It’s no surprise to us that in less than a week, more than 40,000 CREDO members in Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey and Delaware signed the petition to their Governor and President Obama and made nearly 3,000 phone calls to these offices. ” In a recent Oscar-nominated documentary by activist Josh Fox, called Gasland, one resident with a fracking well on his property had contaminated well water that could be lit on fire in his kitchen sink with a lighter. Today, Fox is joined by Debra Winger and Mark Ruffalo in a march on the New Jersey Statehouse to highlight this contentious issue.