Starkey Citizens for a Clean & Healthy Environment
Battles Escalate Over Community Efforts to Ban Fracking

Joe Eaton for National Geographic

Published August 22, 2013

As President Obama visits upstate New York and northeastern Pennsylvania this week to discuss his education agenda, a separate issue looms large in the background: fracking, a practice that has transformed Pennsylvania's economy and divided New York, where a moratorium is in place.

Protesters on both sides of the issue are expected to greet the President. And while his trip highlights many unresolved issues related to America's new wealth of natural gas and oil, a growing number of communities are taking matters into their own hands. (Vote: "How Has Fracking Changed Our Future?")

From New York to New Mexico, more than 100 municipalities have passed fracking bans or temporary moratoriums, according to FracTracker, a nonprofit organization that compiles data on the oil and gas industry. The bans often put communities in direct conflict with states over the right to regulate the oil and gas industry. (See related story: "Health Questions Key to New York Fracking Decision, but Answers Scarce.")
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