Oil and Gas Development

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Without smart planning, comprehensive pollution monitoring and the best available environmental protections, this kind of oil and gas development near our national parks will diminish America’s natural and cultural heritage one park at a time. To save these national treasures, we must educate our nation's leaders about what's at stake and turn up the heat in order to secure urgently needed safeguards.

That's why your immediate action to help NPCA address the threats posed by unrestrained fracking is so important.

What’s At Stake?

Air Quality

  • Fracking activities typically emit more pollutants than traditional oil and gas extraction methods, and the current lack of emissions controls on large concentrations of fracked wells can lead to increased ozone pollution.

Water Quantity

  • Fracking a single well can require millions of gallons of water, and significant new drawdowns can be problematic for western parks.

Water Quality

  • Wastewater from fracking operations is heavily toxic and cannot be reused, except for other fracking jobs.  Existing disposal options create risks of groundwater, surface water and other contamination.

Habitat Fragmentation

  • Large concentrations of oil and gas development adjacent to national parks could significantly impair the ability of park wildlife to move beyond park boundaries.

Natural Experience

  • Noisy air compressors and traffic can alter the behavior of wildlife and impair human enjoyment of parks, and hundred-foot tall drilling rigs and gas flaring harm the visual experience.

Oil and Gas Boom Threatens Health of National Parks

The rapid increase of the oil and gas extraction method known as hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” is outpacing our understanding of how massive concentrations of oil and gas wells impact surrounding lands.  Without safeguards, the boom in fracking could significantly impact the air, water, wildlife and forests that are protected in our national park system.

NPCA’s new report – National Parks and Hydraulic Fracturing: Balancing Energy Needs, Nature, and America’s National Heritage – outlines the impacts of the fracking boom on our national parks, and offers solutions to protect them.  Impacts already being felt at some of our most iconic parks include: degradation of air and water quality, habitat fragmentation, conflicts with water quantity requirements, and injuries to the park experience from the sights and sounds of industrial development.

Parks across the country are affected.  The report details the existing and potential impacts to Glacier NP, Theodore Roosevelt NP, Grand Teton NP, Upper Delaware SRR and Delaware Water Gap NRA, and Big South Fork NRRA and Obed WSR.

Master Leasing Plans

NPCA Report: Master Leasing Plans – A Responsible Process
NPCA’s report on Master Leasing Plans (MLPs) highlights an innovative new tool that can help protect national parks and other sensitive areas from nearby oil and gas development.  MLPs require federal land agencies to talk with local stakeholders like park visitors, recreationists and local businesses before developing a plan for how oil and gas resources can be developed near parks. 
Read more about NPCA’s work with Master Leasing Plans


NPCA Report: National Parks Deserve to Be Protected from Oil and Gas Development
NPCA’s new report, National Parks and Hydraulic Fracturing, examines the impact of existing, proposed, and potential oil and gas development on America’s national parks and offers recommendations to ensure that future drilling safeguards public health and the environment. With five in-depth case studies, the report connects the dots on how fracking near national parks can impact the parks themselves.
Read more in NPCA's Park Advocate Blog

National Parks Conservation Association
National Parks Conservation Association

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