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Big Oil and Gas: Meet Your Match

While members of Congress take unprecedented sums of money from the oil and gas industry and cast votes to loosen regulations on fracking,1 at the local level we are winning fight after fight.

Right in the heart of Texas oil and gas country, the Dallas City Council just voted 9-6 to essentially ban fracking—the practice of injecting toxic chemicals and massive amounts of water deep underground to reach oil and natural gas deposits—within that city of more than a million people.

A day later, Erie County, New York—home to Buffalo—banned fracking on county lands with a 9-2 vote of the county legislature. More than 500 local MoveOn members took part in that campaign.

And last month, voters in four Colorado towns approved permanent or temporary bans on hydraulic fracturing—despite being outspent 32 to 1 by Big Oil and Big Gas.2

The anti-fracking movement has figured out how to win—using grassroots organizing and people power to beat back big industry in town after town and county after county—and now it’s time to double down on our strategy. That’s why we launched the #FrackingFighter project to recruit and support grassroots leaders who are running effective local campaigns to fight fracking in their own communities—just like MoveOn members did in Dallas, Buffalo, and Colorado.

Meet the 100 MoveOn Fracking Fighters from 37 states—local activists who will receive materials, grant money, and training for their campaign—and then share the page on Facebook and Twitter using hashtag #FrackingFighter to show the fossil fuel industry and elected officials that our movement is growing.

Selecting 100 winners after more than 1,000 MoveOn members applied—when we were expecting just 200 applications—was a nearly impossible task. A review committee of author and ecologist Sandra Steingraber, Native American environmental leader Kandi Mossett, and MoveOn.org Civic Action Executive Director Anna Galland made sure we supported leaders from all walks of life.

Because so many amazing leaders stepped forward to apply, we’re able to make additional resources available to everyone who applied—in addition to the MoveOn toolset and community that anyone can use to create progressive change, any day of the week.

Meet some of the MoveOn Fracking Fighters we’re able to support thanks to the donations of MoveOn members like you:

  • Robert Fofrich is a college student at West Los Angeles College, and the goal of his campaign is “to end hydraulic fracturing in the Inglewood Oil Field next to my campus—the largest urban oil field in the country.” In his neighborhood, people are getting sick. In 2008, Robert joined the Longest Walk 2, walking 3,000 miles across the country to call attention to environmental destruction and Native American rights. The experience affirmed for Robert that “no matter how colossal a task, with diligence it can be accomplished.”
  • Elyse Hirsch is a young mother in Stow, Ohio, where the gas industry has bullied its way into dumping radioactive fracking waste from other states. She writes, “We currently have 242 active injection wells in the state of Ohio with over 500 million gallons of radioactive waste injected in 2012 alone. I am organizing with Stark, Summit, and Portage counties in Northeast Ohio to ban injection wells in Ohio and ultimately slow fracking regionally.”

Click here to meet all 100 MoveOn Fracking Fighters, and then share the good news on Twitter and Facebook that our movement is growing.

Dallas, Erie, and Colorado are proving that if we invest in local organizing, we win. And that’s what we’re doing.

Thanks for all you do.

–Victoria, Manny, Matt B., Rosy, and the rest of the team



1. “House vote a win for pro-fracking,” Times Union, November 20, 2013

“These members of Congress are bankrolled by the fracking industry,” Grist, November 21, 2013

2. “Fracking Limit Weighed as Colorado Drillers Back Ad Blitz,” Bloomberg, November 1, 2013