Published on Friday, December 23, 2016
by Food & Water Watch BlogWhy Working Locally Is the Key to Banning FrackingUnder the Trump administration, our local work to ban fracking is more important than ever.
by Christian Detisch
At Food & Water Watch, we have no illusions about the future: the outrageous rhetoric of the election, as well as the alternative realities created by Trump, foreshadow the battles against climate change and the corporate control of our resources we’ll have to fight in the years to come.
Even more alarming was the silence on fossil fuels and climate change during election season. If it wasn’t clear before, the oil and gas industry have a big ally in the Trump administration. We need look no further than the climate change denying, fossil fuel fanatics he’s surrounding himself with like Scott Pruitt, the proposed administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, or Rex Tillerson, CEO of Exxon Mobil, who’s being considered for secretary of state. But with climate disasters already increasing in frequency across the world, we don’t have four years to wait.
That’s why Food & Water Watch isn’t sitting around to see what happens under the Trump administration. While winning a ban on fracking at the federal level was always going to be difficult, our efforts at the local level are more important now than ever. Even during this outrageous election, we’ve already won some huge local victories against the fracking industry: Thanks to years of organizing in California, we helped beat Chevron and ban fracking in Monterey County—the first oil-producing county in the country to ban new drilling. And we won this fight on election night, despite Trump’s win.
Two years ago, we helped secure a moratorium on fracking in Maryland. Now we’re working to make sure that fracking ban becomes permanent, with the Baltimore City Council passing a resolution that calls on state legislators to ban fracking in 2017, along with Montgomery, Prince George’s, Frederick and Anne Arundel counties.Working with allies and coalition partners, we helped stop oil and gas infrastructure projects like the Constitution Pipeline in New York and export facilities in Oregon—and we’re ramping up our efforts to fight dirty energy infrastructure by focusing on other pipeline projects across the country.
As we continue to win local fracking bans like the ones in Miami-Dade County, Florida and Alameda County, California thanks to the efforts of supporters like you, Food & Water Watch plans to build on that momentum. We’re planning more local campaigns in California, Florida and counties across the country—and we hope you’ll join us.
The fight against fracking has always been a difficult one. Ten years ago when Food & Water Watch became the first national organization to call for a complete ban in the U.S., people told us we were picking an impossible battle. But this growing list of victories tells another story: that when we come together, we can win against oil and gas giants like Exxon, Chevron and the Koch brothers.
It’s no surprise that we’ve scored these wins at the local level: local government is less gridlocked and more easily pressured than our national politicians, people mobilize quickly and passionately to protect their homes—and each local win helps to build up the national movement. We can still make progress under a Trump administration, and we don’t plan on stopping anytime soon. With your help, we’re aiming to keep fracking out of everyone’s hometown.
© 2014 Food & Water Watch
Christian Detisch is the Digital Content Coordinator for Food & Water Watch. Previously to his time with FWW, he worked as an AmeriCorps VISTA in northwestern Pennsylvania running a computer literacy program and summer lunch program for children living in public housing. He also served as an associate editor for the online literary journal Blackbird while receiving an MFA in creative writing at Virginia Commonwealth University.http://www.commondreams.org/views/2016/12/23/why-working-locally-key-banning-fracking