FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
May 6, 2011
Uncloaks Big Oil’s Takeover of Gas Industry
and push Washington around on safe gas drilling
ARLINGTON, VA –DeSmogBlog today released the first comprehensive report on the lobbying and misinformation campaigns run by the gas industry to confuse lawmakers and the public and effectively limit federal oversight of unconventional gas operations.
The report found that the gas industry’s influence in Washington, D.C. has grown tremendously over the last few years because of the industry’s consolidation into conglomerate oil corporations with new interest in unconventional gas plays. Although front groups promote the image of an “independent” industry representing “mom and pop” companies, oil giants such as BP, ExxonMobil, Shell, ConocoPhillips and Chevron now dominate the gas patch.
In the report, DeSmogBlog also details the gas industry’s use of lobbying, campaign contributions and other forms of influence to successfully block federal efforts to hold oil and gas corporations accountable for their impacts on health and the environment. Copying the tactics of the tobacco industry and chemical companies, the industry has tried to brand federal oversight, increased scrutiny and accountability measures as “economy-killing,” while oil and gas corporations amass record profits and growth.
A growing body of scientific evidence and investigative reports point to the threat of irreparable harm an unchecked gas-drilling boom poses to air and water quality and the health of American families. Given these recent developments and the findings of this report, DeSmogBlog offered five recommendations to lawmakers to ensure the protection of their constituents’ health and community:
- A national moratorium on hydraulic fracturing until independent scientific studies are conducted to verify the process does not impact drinking water, public health and the global climate.
- The federal government should strictly oversee setting and enforcing standards for unconventional gas drilling. Federal officials should employ existing federal statutes that don’t currently apply to gas drilling, and review the need for any new standards necessary to protect public health and the environment.
- Greater scrutiny is needed into common drilling practices such as cementing procedures, wastewater handling and storage of harmful drilling chemicals.
- Congress and federal agency officials must immediately require mandatory industry reporting of lifecycle emissions of gas drilling operations to ensure relevant and reliable information is accessible to the public, especially independent experts.
- Congress and federal agency officials must also require mandatory disclosure of hydraulic fracturing fluid chemicals, including the exact chemical recipes used in each operation.
Link to the study:
DeSmogBlog exists to clear the PR pollution that is clouding the science on climate change. An overwhelming majority of the world’s climate scientists agree that the globe is warming and that the indiscriminate burning of fossil fuels is to blame. We know that the risks are incalculable and, increasingly, we understand that the solutions are affordable and wise choices for many reasons.