On the recommendation of a bipartisan task group, the Upper Susquehanna Synod Assembly of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) voted on June 20, 2014, to call for all environmental and public health exemptions on shale gas and oil drilling and its related processes, known as the “Halliburton loopholes,” to be repealed and all processes related to shale gas and oil extraction and processing to be subject to the Safe Drinking Water Act (1974), the Clean Air Act (1990) and Clean Water Act (1972). The task force was created as a result of action taken at the Synod’s 2012 assembly directing the group to undertake a comprehensive assessment of the justice issues surrounding the natural gas industry. The resolution came as a result of two years’ worth of research, field work, and discussion by a diverse group of individuals, appointed by The Rev. Bishop Robert L. Driesen, representing opposing viewpoints on the issue of hydro-fracking. The task force also provided a report that offered guidelines for approaching shale gas and oil drilling based on biblical and Lutheran theological values, as well as materials and resources to help people understand and interpret the abundance of information about the shale gas and oil industry, pro and con, that continues to grow and change almost daily.
Below are the resources that the task force developed for distribution: