By Brian Merchant
Sep 29, 2012
Oil and gas drilling operations are already well underway in twelve national parks, and that number may soon balloon to 42 if the fossil fuel companies get their way.
The progressive mainstay Center for American Progress recently requested data from the National Park Service regarding current and future drilling operations. The agency complied—it outlined 42 national park sites where oil and gas drilling is currently occurring, or may be soon. Here's where they are:
Center for American Progress/via
In the report CAP published along with the data, it outlines some of the dangers of drilling:
Drilling involves not just the construction of rigs but also roads, pipelines, and other infrastructure. Toxic chemicals such as naphthalene and benzene are sometimes used in oil and gas drilling and production activities. There is also the equally real threat of spills, which are frequent both onshore and offshore. One estimate found that in North Dakota in 2011 alone there were more than a thousand spills of oil, wastewater, or other drilling fluids.
Not, in other words, the sort of stuff you want happening in the Everglades. Or the Grand Tetons. Or any number of other national parks which will soon be home to their very own fossil fuel extraction efforts.
These are places, after all, that were set aside for a reason; presumably because they were pristine places of exceptional public interest. National treasures, they've been called, or America's "best idea" even. Perhaps we should keep them that way.