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Industry Consultants Warn Frackers: Do Not Underestimate the Global Anti-Fracking Movement

For related articles and more information, please visit OCA's Environment and Climate Resource Center page and our Organic Transitions page.

The bitter battle over fracking has gone global, and according to pro-business consultants, the oil and gas industry has every reason to be concerned.

Oil and gas rigs are popping up in communities across the world as the fossil fuels industry races to exploit reserves with the controversial drilling technique known as fracking. In response, a global anti-fracking movement has emerged, and activists are winning victories in countries across world.

A report recently released by the international consulting group Control Risks warns the oil and gas industry that it has underestimated the "sophistication, reach and influence" of the global anti-fracking movement. The report contends the opposition is not simply a spotty, not-in-my-backyard phenomenon "masquerading as environmentalism," but a diverse and well-organized coalition that is unlikely to be swayed by the industry's well-funded public relation campaigns.

The report's findings may come as no surprise to activists. The grassroots anti-fracking movement spread "organically" across the world as drilling continued to expand and spark controversy in new areas, according to the Control Risks report. Online social networking, rising media coverage and widespread distribution of Josh Fox's controversial 2010 documentary Gasland has stimulated the movement, and now there are hundreds of anti-fracking groups in the United States, Canada, Australia and countries across Africa and Europe.

Fracking Unites Activists and Communities

The global anti-fracking movement may be grassroots in nature, but communities and activists across the world share the same concerns about the "significant" impacts of fracking, according to Mark Schlosberg, an anti-fracking organizer with the US-based group Food and Water Watch.

Environmentalists and drilling opponents say fracking threatens to drain and contaminate local water supplies, cause air pollution, industrialize pristine rural areas and contribute to global warming. 


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