Statement of EARTHWORKS Executive Director Jennifer Krill in response to the Interior Department's forum on natural gas development on public lands

November 30, 2010

Washington, D.C. -- "We are pleased to see the Secretary of the Interior and the Department take the initiative to modernize our federal oil and gas policy to protect communities and federal resources impacted by gas development. We urge Interior go further to require best management practices for natural gas drilling on public lands.

The federal government has a responsibility to ensure drilling on our public lands occurs responsibly. And disclosure, although necessary, is only the first and most basic step necessary to protect communities and their groundwater from irresponsible drilling.

Last month, President Obama reiterated his support for domestic natural gas production, but missed a key opportunity to ensure that the public is protected when drilling goes wrong. For example, although Interior is advocating disclosure requirements, loopholes in the Safe Drinking Water Act exempt the drilling industry from toxics disclosure across the country. We strongly encourage the Obama administration to act to close these numerous loopholes in our environmental laws and tighten lax regulations of natural gas drilling to ensure the protection of the rights of all landowners, as well as air quality, waterways and drinking water and key wildlife habitat on federal lands."

-- ENDS --

For more information:


Jennifer Krill, Executive Director, 415-336-8936

Lauren Pagel, Policy Director, 202-887-1872x207

Tagged with: public lands, oil and gas, obama, interior department

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