Blaise Pascal
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Saturday, November 20, 2010


From J. David Bell of Pittsburgh:

"Today, I attended the first half of the
EarthWorks National People's Oil and Gas Summit" 
 "A number of shocking facts emerged..."

"In two communities in Wyoming and Texas where fracking is taking place, between 70 and 80% of residents are experiencing respiratory problems."

"While drilling is often touted as a job-maker for local communities, fully 70% of the industry's workers in Pennsylvania come from out of state."

"The natural gas methane--which is not only deadly to humans but a potent greenhouse gas--has been recorded at asphyxiation levels in some homes near fracking sites."

"High rates of sexual predation--including predation on children--are reported among fracking workers."

"Though Pennsylvania's State Senate insists that a severance tax will drive industry away, Wyoming, with the highest taxes among western states, also has the highest energy production in the U.S. (indeed, it ranks close to the top compared to other energy-producing nations)".

 "...as evidenced by today's summit, the movement against fracking is growing larger every day."
"The chief message I took from today's meeting was the need to learn as much as possible about this issue, and to act on that knowledge in every way imaginable."
"I'll be going back tomorrow to continue that process."

Full Post - HERE
From his Nov 3 post "Frick, Frack":
"Today I attended a rally in downtown Pittsburgh to protest industry plans to drill tens of thousands of natural gas wells (through a process known as hydraulic fracturing or “fracking”) into the Marcellus Shale formation that lies beneath
our fields, forests, and cities.
The rush to drill is based on two deeply flawed propositions that, if exposed and rejected, may well set us on the road to recovery as a people and as a world:
1. Natural gas is a clean energy source.
This is, quite simply, bullshit.
While natural gas is marginally cleaner-burning than coal or oil, the process by which it’s extracted is brimming with environmental hazards: contaminated water, damaged soil, toxic air. Of the three, the threat to water is perhaps the most ominous: the amount of water required to drill one well is astronomical, and there’s precious little regulation concerning where that water comes from and where it goes after it’s been drenched in hazardous chemicals. As several speakers at today’s rally pointed out, if drilling is as safe as the industry claims, then why did they enlist Dick Cheney and his cronies in Congress to ensure that legislation would be passed exempting the fracking process from key provisions of the Clean Water Act, the Safe Drinking Act, the Clean Air Act, and the Superfund law? To tout natural gas as a “clean” alternative to oil is akin to praising crack as a safer-burning form of cocaine.

2. Natural gas represents a “transition fuel” to a clean energy economy. Again, total bullshit.
If you look at the history of the fossil fuel industry, you’ll find plenty of transitions--but only from one fossil fuel to a yet more cheap, abundant, energy-intensive, and environmentally destructive fossil fuel. From charcoal to coal to petroleum, the industry has tried them all, and they’re seeking newer and unhealthier sources of energy (tar sands and the like) even as we speak. There’s simply no incentive for the industry to do anything else, and anyone who thinks it will diversify out of the goodness of its heart or concern for its customers has been drinking its toxic Kool-Aid for way too long. (We all saw how well BP fulfilled its vow to move “beyond petroleum,” right?) Unless the rest of us make it inconvenient, unprofitable, and in fact illegal for these vampires to conduct their filthy business, the industry will continue to suck fossil fuels from the planet until it’s literally sucked dry. If we are to embrace a clean energy future, it has to start now, with heavy investment in renewables and disincentives for business as usual. This will hurt in the short term, but it will not hurt nearly as much in the long term as a continued dependence on fossil fuels.
So if you’re following this issue, keep your eyes on Pittsburgh. If my hometown can secure victory in this battle--if we can claim our land, our communities, and our health as inalienable rights no one can steal--then the collapse of the fossil fuel industry is within grasp, and a sustainable world within reach.
Drill in Pittsburgh? As they chanted at today's rally:
"No fracking way!"

Full Post - HERE

Thanks to J. David
 More Fracking Yells - Please

1 comment:

  1. I watched a recorded program yesterday on PCN from Penn State presenters: geologist, hydrologist, to a group at Penn College of Technology.
    I could only watch a small segment of it, but what I saw was pure one-sided argument for the safety and overall cleanliness of the drilling process with complete minimization of the dangers of fracking chemicals and gas migrations, denial of the risks in health to the affected populace, and a cheerleading endorsement of the benefits to be derived from methane in PA.

    As an example(paraphrased):
    "The shale is way down there, underneath layers and layers of heavy rock and clay that block anything from getting up to the surface where most of the aquifer water is found."

    It is amazing to me how some things can simply be dismissed as irrelevant (like the deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqis from the curent war) by those who stand to profit from the enterprise, and even more amazing how the American people can listen to it and not question it.
    But this is what we are facing-------the need to educate, to disseminate the truth to those who aren't otherwise able to hear it, to counter the false arguments of the profiteers.