Cartwright Joins DeGette, Polis, and Schakowsky to Introduce “Frack Pack” Bills Aimed at Closing Oil and Gas Loopholes
Washington, DC – This week U.S. Representatives Matt Cartwright (PA-17), Diana DeGette (CO-01), Jared Polis (CO-02), and Jan Schakowsky (IL-09) joined in a press call to introduce and discuss their bills that comprise the “Frack Pack.”
The four “Frack Pack” bills are designed to address the hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, boom of the last decade and the failure of patchwork environmental protections to keep pace. Loopholes and exceptions written into the Safe Drinking Water Act, the Clean Water Act, and the Clean Air Act have kept landmark environmental laws from protecting the health and safety of individuals and families living in communities affected by fracking. By closing loopholes, the “Frack Pack” bills would hold the energy industry to the same standards that apply to everyone.
Rep. Cartwright’s legislation, the FRESHER Act, would reverse the construction and operations exemption for oil and gas companies in the Clean Water Act for storm water runoff permits and mandate a study to fully understand the effects of these operations on surface water.
“My legislation addresses the severe lack of oversight and permitting of storm water runoff within the oil and gas industries. This loophole presents a danger to the nation’s waterways and other key assets, especially in areas where hydraulic fracturing has increased in prevalence,” said Rep. Cartwright. “The pieces of legislation that make up “The Frack Pack” are common sense and I urge my colleagues from both sides of the aisle to get on board.”
“My bill, the FRAC Act, works to knit together the patchwork of state regulations that the energy industry must comply with to form a consistent and effective system to protect our groundwater,” said Rep. DeGette. “People deserve not only to know exactly what chemicals are being used in the fracking wells in and near their communities but also for fracking to be subject to the protections of the Safe Drinking Water Act just like any other industry would be. I look forward to growing support for both the FRAC Act and the vital bills that make up the ‘Frack Pack.’”
“These common sense initiatives represent an unprecedented, bipartisan push to level the playing field surrounding our policies on oil and gas development,” said Rep. Polis. “Our nation’s economy continues to benefit from domestic energy production and as the industry grows, these policies simply close loopholes and make extraction processes safer, bringing the industry in line with protections required by nearly every other mineral development sector.”
“My bill, the SHARED Act, says that if you’re going to frack, you need to test and report on the impacts of that activity on water quality. The bill would require testing of water sources near hydraulic fracturing operations and the public disclosure of the results of that testing,” said Rep. Schakowsky. “It’s simple, straightforward, and it would make sure that families know whether their water is safe to drink and use. I will work to do all that I can to advance this legislation, the Frack Pack bills, and other efforts to protect our precious water sources.”
“The best way to safeguard our families’ health – and the health of the planet – is to ban this drilling altogether,” said Margie Alt of Environment America. “Until then, we must do everything we can to protect the people living on the frontline of fracking.”
The four “Frack Pack” bills, the FRAC Act, the FRESHER Act, the BREATHE Act, and the SHARED Act were introduced yesterday.