Behind the scenes: with a growing anti-fracking movement the gas industry is running out of options.by Ben Shapiro
Today Josh Fox, director of the academy nominated film Gasland, was arrested in DC for attempting to film a House Science Committee hearing called to examine the EPA’s findings that hydraulic fracturing fluids had contaminated groundwater in the town of Pavillion, Wyoming. Meanwhile, in Ohio the city of Warren’s wastewater treatment plant announced that they would continue to accept toxic fracking wastewater with over 600 chemicals to be dumped not underground but directly into Ohioans water supply.
Why arrest Fox? Why push for this insane dumping of toxins directly into our water supply? The truth is that numerous exemptions from the Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act, the Superfund act, and other national legislation (known as the Halliburton loophole) are not enough for industry. This legislation was originally drafted to protect us. And despite these loopholes the industry is instead finding that they cannot contend with an educated, politically organized citizenry capable of speaking about the hard facts and willing to take action.
So Call Warren Water Pollution Control director Tom Angelo at (330) 841-2591 *Tell Tom “Toxic Fracking Wastewater has NO PLACE in a municipal wastewater treatment plant. Follow the OEPA and ODNR’s directive to stop poisoning our water supply!”
So the industry is fighting back the only way it can: by suppressing information and transparency and pursuing insane strategies like dumping toxic fracking wastewater into small municipal treatment plant that was never designed to accept water with 600-700 chemicals (many of which highly toxic and cancer causing) and laden with radioactivity and gas.
Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, for deep shale gas requires drilling down vertically thousands of feet and then radiating out horizontally into shale deposits. To break up the shale the process uses tens of millions of gallons of fresh water and over 600 chemicals, most of which are known mutagens, surfactants, and cancer causing chemicals. Injected at extremely high pressure to explode those shale formations the water now contains radioactivity and gas. Fluid remaining in the ground is then free to migrate through those ‘fractures’ created into groundwater causing devastating human health from cancer to infertility and other environmental impacts.
The only way industry and it’s legislative tools can continue their dirty business is to try to make decisions behind closed doors way from cameras and obscure the facts. That’s because despite their deep pockets it’s increasingly difficult to suppress citizen outrage and organize communities that refuse to be picked off one-by-one or turned against one another.
Here in Ohio citizens have been able to pass local ordinances and resolutions banning fracking alongside cities across the country and around the world. And Ohioans ramped up pressure through direct actions including a blockade that forced the closing of 5 toxic fracking wastewater injection wells in Northeast Ohio.
So while it may seem at times that we face ever increasing setbacks, those educating on the dangers of fracking and fighting to protect safe drinking water and the land for now and future generations have gone from being ignored to putting the industry on defense nationwide: forcing them to fight back.
And this means that if we keep taking action and building our coalition we’re closer to winning than we may think. As Ghandi famously said “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”
Learn more at www.nofrackohio.com
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