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Fracking threat

Published August 23, 2013 1:01 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

The recent editorial "Future is here: It's time for realism about water" (Our View, Aug. 17) speaks to the very real and very current water scarcity crisis that plagues the western United States. Dams, diversion projects and climate change have contributed to diminishing the region's water source — the Colorado River. But let us consider yet another real-time threat to the Colorado River Basin and all who rely on it — fracking and drilling for oil and natural gas.

President Obama and the Bureau of Land Management recently proposed new rules for drilling and fracking on federal lands in the Colorado River Basin. These rules will do nothing to prevent existing and proposed fracking wells from worsening the water and climate crisis vexing the West. Fracking actually exacerbates climate change; it leaks methane, a much more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide, into the atmosphere. If climate change worsens, so will drought. Millions of people who depend on the Colorado River will continue to be affected.

The public comment period to tell President Obama and the BLM to ban fracking on public lands in the Colorado River Basin ends Friday, Aug. 23. Now is the time to save our precious water from fracking.

Sam Schabacker

Mountain West regional director

Food and Water Watch

Denver, Colo.