July 11, 2013

Sierra Club Praises House Democrats for Proposing Safeguards on Fracking

LANSING – The Sierra Club Michigan Chapter, an environmentally-concerned citizens group, today praised a package of bills proposed by Democratic representatives in the state House that will be the first significant legislative initiatives to deal with the growing dangers of fracking. Hydraulic fracturing (fracking) is a controversial process for extracting natural gas that puts Michigan’s fresh water at risk.

“We welcome this package of bills which provides tools for stronger public involvement and accountability by the oil and gas industry,” said Nancy Shiffler, Co-Chair of the Sierra Club Michigan Chapter’s Beyond Natural Gas and Oil Campaign.  “This is a first, important step toward addressing a range of threats to Michigan’s waters posed by risky, loosely regulated drilling.”

The bills in this package will help protect Michigan’s communities and water by requiring public participation in permit decisions, disclosure of chemicals used in fracking fluid, and the means to hold oil and gas companies accountable for their pollution.

The Sierra Club also believes that lawmakers must go beyond the proposals announced today and stop all fracking activity until comprehensive regulations and other measures are adopted to protect Michigan’s air, water and public health.  Michigan citizens and communities are currently vulnerable to serious injury from fracking activities that now take place in Michigan.

The Sierra Club looks forward to working with lawmakers responsible for these important proposals and any others who are interested in protecting Michigan’s air, water and public health from the dangers of fracking.

The Sierra Club is the nation’s largest most effective grassroots environmental organization, with over 150,000 members and supporters in Michigan.