Selling Us Down The River Styx

Fracking Water Contamination

Fracking Water Contamination (Photo credit: Public Herald)

If you want to watch a movie that will make you want to punch someone in the face might I suggest Josh Fox’s Gasland Part 2. The only problem with it is it will leave you with so many targets and no idea where you want to start. There are some obvious targets. The executives in the oil and gas industry always deserve our ire. Certainly the mainstream media needs a fist in the pie-hole for creating a false equivalency between the arguments of environmentalists and the pro-fracking crowd. If anyone deserves a (strictly metaphorical for those of you in the NSA, FBI, or CIA who may be reading) slap across the face it’s those “liberal” politicians who have sold us out.

The Democratic party faithful have jumped on the hydrofracking band wagon. Our former and current Secretaries of State have pursued  a world-wide agenda to replace our dwindling crude supplies with natural gas. They sell it as a green “bridge fuel” to use before we convert to a truly renewable energy infrastructure despite the fact that it is anything but green and despite the fact that we do not need a bridge fuel. There is no wide chasm to cross to make all our energy production renewable, the only impediments are political in nature.

Speculation on hydrocarbons will make all the “right” people billions, if not trillions, of dollars, and both major parties in the US want their cut of that. Some of my environmentalist friends wonder why our lame duck President is so insistent in pandering to oil and gas companies though he no longer needs it. True, he will not be running for office again, but his friends will and they need those campaign contributions from Exxon/Mobile and Dutch Royal Shell. Our “progressive” candidates are as beholden to psychotic corporations who only see dividends and not the consequences of their actions as their conservative counterparts. It’s too bad reality cannot be blind to those consequences as well.

Because make no mistake, the consequences are real and they are severe. They are trillions of gallons of water no longer usable as they are turned into “slick” water for fracking. They are billions, maybe even trillions more made unusable as well casings fail and methane, benzene, xylene and hundreds of other chemicals contaminate our aquifers. They are rising temperatures as billions of cubic feet of methane escapes as fugitive emissions, becoming a far worse green house than the CO2 it was supposed to alleviate. It is tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of jobs lost as the land and water needed for their industries is taken up by an industry that mainly relies on transient workers.

Make no mistake, the Democrats and Republicans both know this. They are both selling us down the River Styx and we all know where that leads. It leads to a bleak future, especially if we allow both parties to continue their push to privatize public service. If President Obama and his contemporaries do not grow a spine and get off their addiction to campaign funds, they will have the blood of untold generations on their hands. We expect this kind of short-sighted pandering to industry from the Republicans, but the Democrats have spent the last eighty years selling themselves as the bulwark against rampant corporate power. It is too bad this is no longer true, and no where is this more obvious than their eagerness to frack our future away.


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