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US Democrats Introduce Bill To Ban Fracking On Federal Land

Timothy Cama, The Hill

A House Democrat introduced a bill aimed at prohibiting hydraulic fracturing for oil or natural gas on federal land.

The bill, which advocates call the strongest federal anti-fracking bill to date, is aimed at a controversial oil and gas recovery technique that environmentalists say can harm groundwater, drinking water, flora, fauna and air quality. Drillers, leasing public land, pump sand, water and chemicals into the ground at high pressure to recover more oil and gas from shale.

“There are serious safety concerns around fracking, and it should not be allowed on our pristine public lands specifically set aside for conservation,” said Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Wis.), who introduced the bill late Wednesday, the day before the House is set to close its session, at which point all bills that haven’t been passed will be dead.

“As we learn more about fracking’s impact on the environment and people living near fracking wells, one thing is clear, the process can be harmful and the effects are not fully understood,” Pocan said.

Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) co-sponsored the bill with Pocan.

“We owe it to our children and grandchildren, and their children and grandchildren, to ensure the protection of public lands,” Schakowsky said in a statement. “This bill — in banning fracking on those lands — helps us follow through on that important promise.”

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