I’ve mentioned fracking before. I introduced you to the Dangers of Fracking, which include contaminated water, air pollution, severe health risks (including brain cancer), well explosions, animal and livestock sickness, and the spread of more toxins than I care to count. (Side note: 596 have been identified so far, but like McDonald’s “secret sauce,” the ingredients of the chemical soup used in fracking is a trade secret and so is not required to be made public.)
However, my last fracking post was pretty superficial; fracking hasn’t taken over Maryland yet, and so I could ignore that little dot on my environmental radar. I read a few articles, watched some interviews, got angry, and after posting a few links, moved on. But then, two days ago, I saw a picture of the Bayou Corne sinkhole in Louisiana, which was caused by a collapsed production hole drilled by the company Texas Brine. And I got angry again. And this time, I stayed angry.
Let me tell you a few of the reasons why I got so angry. I’ll start with a brief history of fracking. Before he was VP, Dick Cheney was the CEO of Halliburton, one of the largest oil companies in the nation; from 1995 to 2000, Cheney led a company that is not only a leader of one of the most corrupt and anti-green industries on the planet, but one that was accused multiple times of corruption. In 2005, Cheney led an Energy Task Force that put together the Energy Policy Act, which Bush signed into law. This Act, also known as the “Halliburton Loophole,” makes the oil industry exempt from the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Safe Drinking Water Acts. I’m going to repeat that: Cheney engineered a law which gave the oil industry – of which he was formerly a leading member – exemption from the laws that protect us and our land from pollution by companies that only care about the spendable kind of green.
The government claims that no energy is perfect, that despite its risks, fracking will free us from the even more dangerous foreign oil and all the Arab entanglements it brings. But that brings little comfort to the people whose water has been contaminated, who’ve gotten sick from exposure to gas and chemicals, whose land has been made barren by the waste water fracking produces. If you need more convincing, watch Josh Fox’s documentary Gasland. Watch him interview people as they set their tap water on fire. See the dead wildlife and the pets whose fur is falling out. Listen to the stories of sickness, cancer, and family properties destroyed. See water so polluted by chemicals like glycol ethers that even a reverse osmosis filter is eaten away by it. Watch a man set a creek on fire after a company dumped their leftovers in it. Watch as oil companies evaporate the water they don’t dump so it pollutes our air as well as our water. Get angry. Then go to Josh Fox’s website and see what you can do about it.
Also, check out the Independent Water Testing Website to see where current wells are and whether or not you are close enough to be at risk.
And while you’re at it, watch Promised Land, Matt Damon’s movie about the fracking takeover. I can’t vouch for how accurate the portrayal is, as I don’t own any land over a natural gas shale. But it’s a good movie, and it’s always heartening to see celebs on the green side.