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Energy & the Law

Who’s Against Fracking and What are They Saying?

Posted in Energy Policy, Hydraulic Fracturing

“Science is my most favorite subject, especially the Old Testament.” Kenneth, 30 Rock

Keeping in mind the importance of science, technology, and transparency in evaluating the safety and reliability of fracking, let’s take a look at some of the leaders in the anti-fracking movement. The results are worthy of your attention.

Displaying an understanding of science equal to Kenneth’s, but with far more misdirected zeal, eminent scientists Yoko Ono, Sean Lennon and Susan Sarandon protested the use of fracking, calling for a total ban – as in the whole world! Just what you’d expect from the seductress who broke up the Beatles.

Remember Promised Land? The humble but feisty locals and the heroic environmentalist take on the handsome-and-conflicted landman (Matt Damon) and his Big Oil predator-bosses. It is reported that the movie was funded by a subsidiary of Abu Dhabi Media, which is a wholly owned by the United Arab Emirates, under which lie billions of MCF’s of gas.   Is there an agenda here? Was Hollywood duped? Does Hollywood care?

The advisory committee of the wholeome- sounding Americans Against Fracking is headed by stage and film director Josh “Gasland” Fox, singer Natalie Merchant and actor Mark Ruffalo. To their credit, they also have a Ph. D,  Sandra Steingraber

Then there is Artists Against Fracking, in which 100 artists including noted engineer and drilling expert Alec Baldwin are a part. See their web site describe the fracking process. See the image of the casing spurting a black, evil substance directly into the fresh water acquifer. Note the rhetoric: ”methane and other dangerous materials” (the same CO2-reducing methane that fuels their homes and workplaces), “willful contamination”, and “explosions” into the aquifer. Next up for this group: “Artists Against Fracking conjures Energy Fairy to replace coal, oil and gas”.   

And this just in: According to the aforesaid Ms. Steingraber, adjudicating guilt by analogy, fracking could be as bad as leaded paint and leaded gasoline and could kill more people than it employs.  Scan the article for facts that support the headline.  Let me know when you find one.

The Earth Justice web site, where skulls and crossbones indicate each “fraccident” site,  offers this “disaster” in Lumberton, in southeast Texas:   In April 2011 a “small fire” burned ”five acres of  a park” and ran off four workers, none of whom were injured. Is that it? Next up: “EPA to ban lightning as a fire hazard”.   

So what’s the point?  In order to resolve our energy challenges Americans deserve a debate based on qualifications beyond fame, album sales, and Oscar nominations, and on arguments beyond fear, ignorance and hyperbole.