Clean Air and Water

As a Senior Member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Congresswoman Eshoo is committed to ensuring that all Americans have clean air to breathe and clean water to drink.

Oil & Gas Drilling

For over four decades Rep. Eshoo has opposed reckless oil and gas drilling, dating back to her service on the San Mateo Board of Supervisors when she was appointed to the Board of Control established after the Santa Barbara Oil Spill. Rep. Eshoo has always believed it would be a grave mistake to scar one of the last pristine landscapes in the United States for a temporary and limited supply of oil. The U.S. Geological Survey estimates the oil recovered from the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) over twenty years would represent less than one year of U.S. supply and would take 10 years to begin to reach the market. At its peak, drilling would produce less than three percent of U.S. oil consumption and, according to the U.S. Energy Information Agency, would save less than 4 cents per gallon for 20 years.

Rep. Eshoo is a cosponsor of the Udall-Eisenhower Arctic Wilderness Act, which would make the ANWR a wilderness area, forever protecting it from development.

Hydraulic Fracturing (“Fracking”)

The recent discovery of vast natural gas resources embedded in shale formations under the United States has caused a boom in the extraction method of hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking.” Fracking involves tens of thousands of gallons of water, sand and chemicals being injected at high pressure into underground rock formations to blast them open. Rep. Eshoo believes that development of new oil and gas resources can and should be done in a responsible way, and she supports several pieces of legislation that would ensure that fracking cannot continue unless it is safe for the environment and human health.

Fracking often occurs near underground water sources, but the Energy Policy Act of 2005 exempts this industry from requirements in the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA). No other industry has a similar exemption. Rep. Eshoo is a cosponsor of the Fracturing Responsibility and Awareness of Chemicals (FRAC) Act, which repeals the oil and gas industry’s SDWA exemption; ensures that drinking water supplies are protected; requires the public disclosure of the chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing fluids; and allows safe fracking operations to continue.

Rep. Eshoo also is a cosponsor of the FRESHER Act and the BREATHE Act in the 115th Congress. These two important bills would close loopholes in the Clean Water Act and Clean Air Act that allow the oil and gas industry to avoid regulations that protect human health and the environment. Together, these bills would protect the American people from the harmful effects of oil and gas drilling and ensure that these industries are subject to the same rules as every other industry.