Photo Credit National Parks Conservation Association

How to take a very good idea, the preservation of National Parks and turn it into a fracking disaster. The Federal government owns the land surrounding the parks and has given fracking and drilling permits to the fossil fuel industry helter-skelter without any regard for the adjacent pollution threatening the parks. Fracking sucks up precious ground water and turns it into a poisonous mix that industry puts into settling ponds to be injected back into the earth (what you don't see can't hurt you). The fracking goes on day and night with excess methane flares lighting up the night sky. Fracking is a threat to the water table in more ways than one. It uses tons of water in the fracking process and the fracking itself which occurs under the aquifer leaves it vulnerable to pollution.

The PDF report National Parks and Hydraulic Fracking

No one knows for sure. Most Americans aren’t witness to fracking operations, which typically take place in remote, rural locations inhabited (and visited) by few people. Most North Dakotans, for example, live within eight miles of the Minnesota border, so they’ve never laid eyes on the fracking wells that are springing up in the western part of the state, near Theodore Roosevelt National Park. Other national parks in relatively undeveloped regions have also seen fracking arrive at their doorstep: From Glacier National Park’s eastern boundary, visitors can throw a stone and hit any of 16 explor- atory wells and their associated holding tanks, pump jacks, and machinery that is capable of forcing millions of gallons of pressurized fluids into energy deposits hiding thousands of feet beneath the earth.

From DeSmog Blog
Fracking Our National Parks: America's Best Idea Threatened By Oil and Gas Addiction

. “Astronomers at Theodore Roosevelt National Park -- which once offered some of the nation’s darkest, most pristine night skies -- also see a new constellation of flares from nearby fracking wells,” writes the National Parks Conservation Association.

Theodore Roosevelt National Park is not alone. Around the country -- from Big Sky Country to the water gaps and rivers of the East -- National Parks and recreation areas are being threatened by rampant, fracking-driven oil and gas development.

From Natural Resources Defense Council blog
New Report Highlights Threats to National Parks from Fracking

Bringing this type of pollution to national parks means iconic vistas obscured by haze and health threats to hikers and other outdoor enthusiasts. Likewise, fracking activities pose threats to water quality.  Fracking chemicals stored on the wellpads are often toxic and oil and gas wastes like the “produced water” that comes out of the well along with the oil and gas can contain a nasty cocktail of carcinogens, heavy metals, and radioactive elements.  Spills, leaks, and blowouts have all contaminated nearby waters.  New wellpads and roads also fragment the habitat of species who roam beyond the borders of the parks and shrink these species’ range further as the animals avoid the noise of heavy machinery and lights that accompany round-the-clock operations.

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Prong Horn Antelope

Originally posted to Climate Change SOS on Fri May 10, 2013 at 12:44 PM PDT.

Also republished by DFH writers group, Climate Hawks, and Public Lands.

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