Just received an interesting e-mail from my “brotha from another motha” in California. My good friend Fritz expressed a concern over the fact that California’s drinking water is burning – not everywhere, but even a little drinking water that can be set on fire seems to be a focus point for concern.
It turns out that certain oil and gas companies have been fracking around with the ground water with impunity since 2005 in the U.S.A. For those of us who aren’t famliar with fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, it involves forcing millions of gallons of water and a witches brew of chemicals into a natural gas well under high pressure. The pressure cracks open the surrounding shale and releases more natural gas.
The problem occurs when natural gas and fracking chemicals leak into drinking water aquifers above the shale beds. Now, previously all of this was covered by the Safe Drinking Water Act of 1974. But not being a team to let anything slow down the profits for their buddies in the oil and gas industry, George and Dick went to work to bypass that pesky assurance that all Americans were entitled to clean drinking water free from contaminates.
And so they passed the Bush/Cheney Energy Bill in 2005, which basically exempted natual gas drilling from the Safe Drinking Water Act and neutered the Environmental Protection Agency. (Canadians take note – this is exactly what the Harper government has just done with its changes to the Fisheries Act and the 2012 budget that gave the PM and cabinet retrocative veto powers over environmental audits that would slow down economic growth.) This bill, in honour of a really big Dick, is also known as the Halliburton Loophole. Between this, and the reconstruction of Iraq, Halliburton made billions, and the U.S.A. ended up with a crushing debt load and bad drinking water.
So, my good friends and relatives to the south of my border (my mom was born in Jacksonville, Florida), if you value the rights and responsibilites that go along with access to clean, uncontaminated drinking water, I’d suggest you get out of the wagon and push for the immediate passage of the FRAC Act. This is a House bill designed to overturn the Halliburton Loophole, reinstate the powers of the EPA, and require responsible disclosure from the natural gas industry.
This is an issue that sweeps across the U.S.A. and Canada, and it is time to tell irresponsible politicians and industrialists to frack off – sort of like Peter Finch with his famous, “I’m mad as hell, and I’m not going to take it anymore!” Take that, Dick!
Skid Crease, Canada
with thanks to Fritz Schautz, U.S.A. – united we stand.