One of the worst things about natural gas fracking is how helpless it can make someone feel when drilling threatens their water or besieges their home. It's easy for one person, one family, or even one community to believe they're outmatched by a wealthy industry with powerful friends in government.
The truth is, though, that we're not alone. By coming together, we can ultimately make the gas industry stop all dirty and dangerous drilling and put communities and our air, water, and atmosphere first.
One way to join forces is to get involved in the Sierra Club's Beyond Natural Gas campaign or any of the many local campaigns that have sprung up to hold frackers accountable. But there's no substitute for putting a face -- a lot of faces, actually -- on the issue by going to Washington, D.C., and telling our leaders in person that we want them to move our country toward a clean energy future where drilling for natural gas no longer threatens our environment, air, and water.
That's why the Sierra Club is joining with dozens of other organizations in a coalition to Stop the Frack Attack. On Saturday, July 28, thousands of us will rally in Washington, D.C. to send a message to President Obama, Congress, and the EPA about our fracking concerns. We'll do more than just gather on the Capitol lawn, though. There also will be opportunities in the preceding week to visit elected officials, to dig deeper into the issues around fracking, to develop the organizational skills to fight fracking on the ground, and to network with allies. (For a complete schedule of events, see http://www.stopthefrackattack.org/schedule/)
The natural gas industry is powerful. What regulations do exist for fracking are poorly enforced. Thanks to Dick Cheney's infamous "Halliburton loophole," fracking is exempt from the Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act, the Safe Drinking Water Act, and other fundamental environmental protections. The predictable result: dirty water, dirty air, and water you'd think twice before drinking.
Together, though, we can change that. No industry, no matter how wealthy or powerful, can withstand the righteous indignation of the American public. The out-of-control rush to drill has put oil and gas industry profits ahead of our health, our families, our property, our communities, and our futures. Special industry exemptions from basic environmental protections make no sense -- let's get them removed.
Everyone wants to see a clean energy future, but to really make it happen takes more than wishful thinking. Join us in Washington, D.C., from July 25-28 to tell Congress and the Obama administration to end gas drilling that harms public health, water and air quality, and the climate.
Follow Michael Brune on Twitter: www.twitter.com/bruneski