08:26 GMT07 April 2020
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    Food & Water Watch Media and Campaigns Officer Ryanne Waters said that an activist rally in Washington, DC has sent 350,000 petitions to members of Congress who have not yet backed a proposed bill to ban fracking on public lands.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — An activist rally in Washington, DC has sent 350,000 petitions to members of Congress who have not yet backed a proposed bill to ban fracking on public lands, Food & Water Watch Media and Campaigns Officer Ryanne Waters told Sputnik.

    “The goal was to deliver these 350,000-plus petitions to members of Congress who have not yet cosponsored the bill,” Waters said on Thursday after the rally. “The bill currently has 27 cosponsors since its introduction in April, and there is a clear call from constituents to protect these special places.”

    Food& Water Watch and other advocacy groups, including Greenpeace and the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD), hosted the rally to convince Congress to pass the Protect Our Public Lands Act (POPLA) that would ban fracking on every US public land.

    CBD Public Lands Program Director Randi Spivak told Sputnik that fracking was damaging to the environment.

    “Dirty fracking has no place on America’s public lands,” Spivak said. “Thanks to [Congressman Mark] Pocan and [Congresswoman Jan] Schakowky’s leadership to keep fossil fuels in the ground and public lands in public hands.”

    Greenpeace Energy Campaign Director Kelly Mitchell told Sputnik that fracking threatens US public lands.

    “Fracking is a massive threat to our climate,” Mitchell said. “With 34 million acres of public land already leased to the gas industry and 200 million acres on the table, the Obama Administration and Congress need to act quickly to protect wilderness and keep fossil fuels in the ground.”

    US advocacy group Progressive Democrats of America National Issue Team Coordinator Jeanne Marie Dauray told Sputnik that was needed to stop fracking once and for all.

    “POPLA is a crucial piece of legislation that seeks to curtail fracking while protecting publicly held air, land and water resources; resources that we as US citizens are morally bound to protect in the face of the global warming crisis, both for our sakes and that of future generations,” she said.

    Hydraulic fracturing is a technique of extracting shale gas and oil by injecting pressurized toxic liquid into the ground. Many experts have warned fracking endangers the environment through spilling poisonous liquid materials into ground water. Proponents claim fracking provides inexpensive energy and jobs.


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