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I urge you to co-sponsor H.R. 2766/S. 1215 to repeal the exemption for hydraulic fracturing in the Safe Drinking Water Act and require public disclosure of the chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing fluids. This exemption, also known as the "Halliburton Loophole," means that hydraulic fracturing, an increasingly common aspect of the oil and gas production process, is not subject to the same standards as other industries when it comes to protecting underground sources of drinking water. It is one of several environmental loopholes granted to the oil and gas production industry.
Hydraulic fracturing involves the injection of fluids, often containing toxic chemicals, into oil or gas wells at very high pressure. This technique fractures the underground formation and can cause underground sources of drinking water to become contaminated. Other forms of underground injection are regulated under the Safe Drinking Water Act to protect drinking water, but in 2005 Congress exempted hydraulic fracturing from the act to benefit Halliburton and other oil and gas companies.
I am concerned that some families have already experienced drinking water contamination linked to hydraulic fracturing operations. Communities across the country are suffering from pollution caused by the oil and gas industry. We should hold this industry to the same standards as any other and close the Halliburton Loophole, and all other loopholes, to achieve consistent federal oversight.
Natural gas may be an important part of our energy portfolio, but the right balance needs to be established between oil and gas development and protection of our precious natural resources, including clean air and clean water. This legislation is simple, straightforward and reasonable, and I hope you will co-sponsor it. Every American deserves clean drinking water.