Rights-Based Ordinances Banning Fracking

Through our Project on Shale Gas Drilling and Fracking, CELDF conducts grassroots organizing in communities across the country facing shale gas drilling and hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking.”

In 2010, we worked with the City of Pittsburgh to become the first community in the nation to ban fracking. Our work is growing as communities across the country are being targeted by gas corporations. We’ve now organized in other communities in Pennsylvania, New York, Maryland, Ohio, and New Mexico which have adopted CELDF-drafted ordinances banning fracking.

Fracking brings significant impacts, including millions of gallons of toxic wastewater. Drilling corporations combine fresh water and sand with chemicals to fracture the underground rock to release the gas, producing the wastewater. The U.S. EPA has warned that frack wastewater is a threat to drinking water. In addition, despite many who tout natural gas as a “cleaner” fuel than coal or oil, fracking is a major global warming contributor.

The "rights-based" ordinances that the City of Pittsburgh and other communities have put in place to ban fracking, establish Community Bills of Rights for those municipalities. These Bill of Rights include a right to water, the right to a sustainable energy future, and the rights of nature. Further, they establish the community’s right to decide what happens in the city, rather than the gas corporations which seek to drill there.

Visit our Ordinance Library to see examples of these ordinances.