Lifton Leads Assembly in Urging Congress to Close Drilling Loophole

June 22, 2009

Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton (D/WF-Ithaca) has announced the Assembly today passed her legislative resolution memorializing Congress to enact H.R. 2766, repealing the 2005 for hydraulic fracturing in the Safe Drinking Water Act. Lifton said the drilling exemption removes hydraulic fracturing and the chemicals it uses from any federal regulations or oversight.

“We must protect our drinking water supplies from harmful chemicals that are being pumped into the ground by oil and gas companies,” said Lifton. “More than 1,000 cases of contamination have been reported by state and local governments in New Mexico, Alabama, Ohio, Texas, Pennsylvania, and Colorado – all places where hydraulic fracturing has taken place.”

Hydraulic fracturing involves injecting millions of gallons of water and sand mixed with tens of thousands of gallons of chemicals, some that are known to cause cancer, deep into the ground, where as much as a third of those fluids remain after the gas is removed.

“There is no room for compromise when it comes to our families’ health,” said Lifton. “The practice of hydraulic fracturing must have the full oversight of the federal government.”

Lifton stressed the importance of not harming our drinking water, a resource that is vital to human health and survival. “While there is value in drilling for natural gas, it is important to do so in a manner that does not have a long-term negative impact on our drinking water.”

The exemption from the Safe Drinking Water Act for natural gas and oil drilling is now being reviewed by Congress.