Congressman Lowenthal Delivers Fiery Speech Condemning GOP Fracking Bill
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Congressman Alan Lowenthal today delivered a fiery speech on the floor of the House of Representatives demanding changes to a Republican drilling bill that denies the public the right to know what chemicals are used during fracking.
Fracking is a process where chemical and sand mixtures are injected under high pressure into wells in an effort to break up underground rock formations to allow greater gas and oil production.
The Republican bill, H.R. 2728, sought to keep the federal government from setting basic health and safety standards for the fracking process.
Congressman Lowenthal authored the Democratic alternative amendment, which would have allowed the federal government to set standards of fracking chemical disclosure to the public by the oil and gas industries.
"Right now, our communities do not have access to reliable or complete information about fracking operations," Congressman Lowenthal said. "Our communities have a right to know! We should be consistent and make sure the people in our communities also have a right to know about fracking chemicals injected below their backyards, their schools, their farms, and their parks."
During his nearly five minutes speech, which was met with a round of applause from his colleagues on the House floor, Congressman Lowenthal pointed out that it is in the fracking industry's best interest to provide information to the public.
"When the oil and gas industry hides the facts, it erodes the public's trust and breeds suspicion," Congressman Lowenthal said. "Don't hide the facts. Our communities have a right to know!"
Despite having near unanimous support from House Democrats, the Congressman's amendment was defeated 232-188.