Friday, October 18, 2013

Fracking Coming to Washington D.C.'s Drinking Water?

View of the Appalachians from the boulder-covered slopes of Duncan Knob, George Washington National Forest, Virginia. (Credit: Shutterstock)
Over the past several years, the battle over fracking has brought Congressional hearings, protests and huge industry money to Washington DC.  But in recent months the topic has taken on a new, more local turn in the nation's capital as oil and gas companies push to drill in a national forest near in the city's backyard and an unusual cast of charaters are lining up to oppose it.

The fight is over access to drill for shale gas in the George Washington National Forest and officials from the Environmental Protect Agency, Army Corps of Engineers and the National Park Service have come out in opposition, even though some of these same federal agencies have in other contexts helped to promote expanded shale gas drilling.

The forest is one of the East Coast’s most pristine ecosystems, home to some of its last old growth forests.  Horizontal drilling, key to shale gas extraction, has never before been permitted in the George Washington National Forest.

Fracking Coming to Washington D.C.'s Drinking Water?

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