Leading progressive Democrats have introduced what they say is Congress’ first-ever proposal to ban fracking across the United States, with immediate limits ramping up to total prohibition by 2025.
The Fracking Ban Act was introduced Friday by Sen. Bernie Sanders, the Vermont independent among the top Democratic presidential contenders, and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the first-term New York liberal with a focus on climate change. Although unlikely to become law this year, with Republicans controlling the Senate and the White House, the measure may forecast how a progressive Democratic administration would approach energy policy.
“If we are serious about clean air and drinking water, if we are serious about combating climate change, the only safe and sane way to move forward is to ban fracking nationwide,” Sanders said in a statement Friday.
Fracking is an abbreviated term for hydraulic fracturing, which is a production technique that typically uses a high-pressure mixture of water and sand to fracture a shale rock formation and start the flow of oil or natural gas. Environmental groups are concerned that wastewater injection wells can pollute groundwater and cause earthquakes. Fracking enabled the domestic surge in production of natural gas, which contributes to climate change, albeit less so than other fossil fuels.
As soon as the bill would became law, it would block new federal permits for fracking-related infrastructure. Next year, it would require the end of production at any well that has ever been fracked and is located within 2,500 feet of an inhabited structure. The technique would be banned outright across the country on Jan. 1, 2025.Read the whole article by clicking here.