Politicians and energy industry enthusiasts have touted fracking as the path to US energy independence, while environmentalists have battled against the proliferation of fracking and the resultant damage to the Earth. Despite environmental concerns, 18 states have jumped onto the fracking bandwagon (map.)
Fracking now is being blamed for an outbreak of earthquakes in North Texas, the explosion (pun intended) of crude oil train disasters across the country, and water contamination in four states.
Texas Is Shaking
More than 20 earthquakes have rocked North Texas since October 2013. Seventeen of those earthquakes have hit the small town of Azle, Texas, and residents are up in arms.
Why is North Texas shaking and sinking? Fracking.
North Texans are blaming the earthquakes on the growth of fracking and the proliferation of injection wells in the area. Fracking (AKA hydraulic fracturing) is a controversial technique which involves injecting a highly pressurized slurry of water and chemicals deep into the Earth in order to fracture rock and extract natural gas and petroleum.
According to Dallas/Ft. Worth NBC News report, more than 800 people showed up at a public meeting to complain about earthquakes, sink holes, damaged homes, and contaminated water. Concerned that the Texas Legislature isn’t listening, Azle residents are planning a community bus trip to Austin. (Check out a compilation of stories here.)
Crude Oil Trains Exploding
Remember last summer’s dramatic news stories about the derailment and explosionof a runaway crude oil train that destroyed the downtown Lac-Megantic, Quebec and killed dozens of residents? Or the story about the 90-car oil train that derailed and exploded in Alabama in November? Or the December train derailment in Casselton, ND which ignited fireballs and forced the evacuation of town residents during bitterly cold winter temperatures? Or this week’s bridge derailment of a crude oil train that threatened the Schuylkill River, which meanders through downtown Philadelphia?
According to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), crude oil shipments by rail have skyrocketed by 400% since 2005. For example, fracking in North Dakota’s Brakken shale area has resulted in booming oil production– 1 million gallons per day or 5% of the country’s oil consumption. Ninety percent of Brakken crude is shipped by rail; both the Casselton and Phildelphia trains were carrying crude from Brakken.
This huge increase in rail transportation of crude oil has resulted in a rash of explosive train derailments. In fact, more oil — 1.15 million gallons– spilled from derailed trains in 2013 than in the previous four decades combined.
As a result, the NTSB is calling for tougher regulations, including a prohibition against rail transportation of flammable crude oil through urban centers. (Duh.)
Drinking Is Dangerous
Environmentalists warned us about potential groundwater contamination due to fracking, when the controversial practice was first introduced.
Fast forward a few years, and now the Associated Press is reporting contaminated well water in four states that jumped into the fracking oil boom early on. Hundreds of residents of Ohio, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Texas have filed official complaints about contaminated well water, due to gas and oil production.
How much more death, destruction, and environmental damage must we suffer in the name of jobs and oil?
To the 18 states with fracking, how’s that ”drill baby drill” workin’ for ya now?
Link to original article from The Tucson Progressive
I stand on the side of Love. I believe in kindness to all creatures on Earth--not just people who agree with me or look like me. I believe that people who promote religiosity but use violence, intimidation, and lies to force their ideas upon other people are not following the teachings of any religious leader.
I have a bachelor's degree in journalism from Ohio State University and a masters in public health from the University of Arizona. In addition to being a blogger, I am a published author, photographer, clay artist, mother, nana, and wife.
My Tucson Progressive blog and Facebook page feature large doses of liberal ideas, local, state, and national politics, and random bits of humor. I also blog at Blog for Arizona and the Huffington Post. I am a proud member of Progressive Democrats of America (PDA).
If you have a Twitter account you can help stop Fast Track on the TPP. Sign-in to your Twitter account and copy and paste the Tweets from our Twitter storm. Or you can copy your favorite Tweet and then click on the map and Tweet your legislator.
Twitter Storm Tweets for Tuesday, January 28th @ 9pm Eastern
Tweets for the special State of the Union Twitter Storm will be posted on January 28th at 8pm EST. Check back for the new Tweets.
Click here to quickly find your member of Congress by putting in your home address. This site also features a one-click link to the same information in Spanish
Then call and ask them to oppose Fast Track on the Trans Pacific Partnership.
Sample script is below.
“I'm a constituent, and I am strongly opposed to my representative giving away Congress’ constitutional authority to control our trade policy. We send people to Congress to stand up for us, not give away their power to stop more American job offshoring and protect us from dangerous imported food that doesn’t meet our safety standards. This latest so-called trade deal, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), would not only do that - but also ban Buy American and increase our medicine prices. That’s why it’s crucial that Congress not give away its authority to make sure every provision of TPP is in our interest before this massive deal can be signed. Good trade deals don’t need to be railroaded through Congress using Fast Track. I hope my representative will commit to opposing this outrageous legislation.”
Send an email directly to your Senators and Representatives courtesy of our partners at CWA. Enter your zip code and your members are automatically selected.
Congress only has one more week in session this year, the week of December 9. So far our pressure to stop the TPP has been working. Visit Flush the TPP for calling scripts and links to Members of the Ways and Means Committee.
Flush the TPP