Wednesday, July 1, 2015

English County Puts Kibosh on Fracking - What Are WE in the U.S. Doing About It?

Anti-Fracking protestors in Preston, England, after the local government rejected fracking applications from Caudrilla Resources

What a great and noble thing it is to have control of whether despoliation of one's environment can occur via the use of local control of fracking! We almost had it here in Colo. back in 2014 except that Jared Polis (who tendered two different referenda on it) punked out at the last minute - no doubt coerced by the oil and gas and lobby. As well as kowtowing to empty promises by Gov. John Hickenlooper, aka "Hick", who once drank a large glass full of fracked water to try and show it was harmless. (Rumors later circulated that he had diarrhea for three days after, but we can't verify this.)

We know New York at least got the message and banned fracking last year, but most state government haven't given they're so in control by outside interest e.g.

Now, we also know an English county government on Monday rejected application from Caudrilla Resources for the first onshore hydraulic fracturing in Western Europe since 2011, according to a Wall Street Journal report ('Fracking Suffers Setback In England', p. B3, June 30).  Thus, as the piece observed, "the industry suffered another blow to develop a shale gas industry outside of the U.S."

Well, let it suffer! We don't want or need no stinkin' fracked air, soil and water!

And as for the bollocks pumped out by the industry's PR tanks, i.e. that it "provides energy independence" do not believe that codswallop for one second! All it is doing, as Jim Hightower also observed in his latest column, is being shipped outside the U.S., e.g.

"In shale fields across the country, you'll see fracking rigs festooned with Old Glory, and they even paint some of their rigs red, white and blue. This ostentatious, patriotic pose is part and parcel of the industry's cynical public-relations campaign to convince you and me that its assault on our health, water, air and economic future should be mindlessly saluted, rather than questioned.

ENERGY INDEPENDENCE! is their deafening cry — this shale gas boom, they exclaim, most certainly will free America from dependence on foreign producers.

"Oh say can you see [through the frackers' big lie?]"

He goes on to pointedly note:

"Far from independence, we're going to get the pollution and other problems, but foreigners will get the energy, for the gas extracted from our fractured land is destined for the export market.

How do we know that? First, because the industry and its government enablers admit it in their internal communications. But, secondly, guess who's paying for the fracking of America?"

Bloomberg News,  indeed, reports that China has pumped over $5 billion into the U.S. drilling "boom" — not only so it can export the energy back to their people, but especially so the Chinese can "redeploy the best U.S. practices and technologies" back to China. Japan has done the same and India has plowed in $3.5 billion to grab our fracked oil and gas.

 Other Asian nations will reap the benefits of this cheap, degraded energy for their own development - once the TPP is finally passed (if it is). Then every signee nation from Vietnam to the Philippines will be able to demand untold fracked shale oil from us and we shall have to comply.  So we are being asked - nay expected- to allow our own nations in the West to be fucked over as far as water, air quality and depredation of the environment - to provide cheap energy to others!

And the insidious effects on resources - especially water - are such that we MUST reject the efforts to blind us to what this dastardly methodology is doing.

The latest news, according to a comprehensive new analysis from the U.S. Geological Survey: fracking is using up much MORE water than originally assumed -  as much as 9.6 million gallons per well.  To give you some point of comparison, an Olympic-sized swimming pool, for comparison, hold just about 660,000 gallons. Thus one single frack well can consume more than 14. 5 Olympc -sized swimming pools.
On average, the study calculated that gas wells are using 5.1 million gallons of water each. Not only is that a lot, it’s more than 28 times the amount of water they were using just 15 years ago.  The greatest atrocity? Many of those operations, as Climate Central notes, are located in regions that recently saw severe droughts — Texas, the Rocky Mountains, the Great Plains – and which can expect to confront even more water shortages as global warming progresses:
It's estimated that fracking now consumes up to 30 percent more ground water than previously believed. At this rate, and with new water data showing an ever diminishing resource base, there won't be any left for future generations.  Kids today who grow up in water-ravaged drought states - or even in many other places- will have to rely on toilet to tap water, or else.... go without.

In the case of the UK vote, while supporters inflated the "economic benefits"  - most sane people weren't biting, noting the host of toxic chemicals used during fracking, most of which got into the ground water. In their rational reckoning, there was no issue of dubious "cost benefit" calculations, there simply was too much cost and very little benefit to them - the cost including devastating health issues and devaluation of property. Because NO one wants to buy a home in a frack area. So the elites can tout this shit all they want, but they can afford to live in their little rich enclaves which won't tolerate it!

Meanwhile, in the UK Scotland has also banned fracking and Wales is considering a similar measure. It is also banned in France and on hold in Germany where my friend Reinhardt has vowed he will fight "tooth and nail" to keep it out since he's seen what it's done here in the U.S.  He agreed that letting it get started would be almost as bad as "allowing the Nazis to regain control of the country."

Indeed, and this is largely why the frack craze - while it's unleashed an oil and gas boom in the U.S. - has proven politically toxic in the more advanced European nations whose citizens take care not to elect frack -crazy political whores. Instead,  blocking it at every turn because of its calamitous health and environmental damage.

We need to start mounting unabated pressure on our political, to halt this crap. Our future and our kids future depends upon it!

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