Daniel Jakubovitz: Profiles of Key Individuals and Groups

Diana DeGette (D-Co) represents the first district of Colorado, which encompasses the greater Denver metropolitan region, and is a member of the Committee on Energy and Commerce. Colorado has seen a large expansion offracking in the past decade, and DeGette is leading the charge to regulate theindustry as it begins to encroach on metro areas. She believes that, “there's aneedfor ‘a federal framework of common-sense fracking regulations’ to resolve apatchwork of state policies,” according to an article in The Denver Post (Finley,2013).
As previously mentioned, DeGette was the primary sponsor on the originalFRAC Act which was introduced to Congress in 2009, and has continued to lead thecharge with the two subsequent attempts of getting the bill passed. She is animportant and powerful player in Washington, who is trying to protect communitiesfrom fracking both in Colorado and nationwide. Her website lists options forcontacting her either through her Denver or Washington, D.C., office:http://degette.house.gov/contact.
Shawn M. Garvin was named the Regional Administrator of EPA Region 3 onNovember 5, 2009. The Region 3 office covers the Mid-Atlantic region including thestates of Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia, and theDistrict of Columbia. Prior to serving in this post, he worked for the office for over10 years. As this regional office serves states that sit directly on top of the MarcellusShale and have a heavy fracking presence, the office is active in managing andstudying the practice. With the EPA’s recent controversial studies in Dimock andelsewhere, the office has felt public pressure to reopen them and be moretransparent with the agency’s actions. The EPA website lists contact information for Garvin: http://www2.epa.gov/aboutepa/shawn-m-garvin-administrator-epas-mid-atlan...
The Independent Petroleum Association of America is an industry tradegroup formed in 1929 that represents “the thousands of independent oil and naturalgas producers and service companies across the United States.” According to theirwebsite, independent companies develop 95 percent of domestic oil and gas wells.They are committed to protecting the domestic oil and gas industry as a means ofeconomic development. They are against increased federal regulations, claimingthat the states have sufficient ability to do this job, which is already given to them.“One of IPAA’s major priorities is to fight this encroachment of federal governmenton the shale revolution and ensure that production increases and our importscontinue to decrease,” writes Julia Bell on their blog (Bell, 2013). They have alsoproduced a documentary called Truthland in response to Josh Fox’s anti-frackingdocumentary Gasland. IPAA can be contacted via their office in Washington, D.C.: http://www.ipaa.org/contact-us/.
The Sierra Club, founded in 1892, is one of the largest and most influentialgrassroots environmental organizations in the country, whose name has becomecommonplace in the sphere of environmental protection. It uses its vast network ofover 1.3 million volunteers and activists across the country to garner support for itsgoals. Throughout its long history, it has become a well-known and respectedconservation organization with proven influence and effectiveness in Washington.
One of the Sierra Club’s priority campaigns at the moment is called “BeyondNatural Gas.” It believes that if fracking cannot be performed safely, then it shouldn’tbe happening at all. It believes that stringent regulations are necessary to ensurethat this process is done safely. “No state has adequate protections in place. Even where there are rules, they are poorly monitored and enforced. Thanks to themultiple federal exemptions, we can’t even count on the federal government to keep us safe,” said former Sierra Club President Allison Chin in 2012 (Sierra Club, 2012). It advocates for more regulations at both the state and federal level, and use their influence to support legislation aimed at closing the various federal loopholes that the oil and gas industry currently enjoy. More information about this can be found on its website, as well as their contact information: http://www.sierraclub.org/contact/.