Friday, July 3, 2009

Hydraulic Fracture: Your Money or Your Life

By TXsharon
Fri Jul 03, 2009 at 11:37:54 AM PDT

Ninety-two percent of the 278 known chemicals used to produce natural gas have adverse health effects including endocrine disruption, neurological disorders and cancer. Chemical information is limited because the industry claims formulas are trade secrets. If, like most Americans, you believe your water, air and soil are protected from these chemicals by federal environmental statutes, you are dead wrong. Loopholes in our federal environmental laws allow the oil and gas industry to endanger public health and safety and risk vital natural resources.

Fueled by technological advances, a frenzied expansion in natural gas drilling has exploded into 34 American states. Once the burden of rural areas, it now encroaches into heavily populated cities turning neighborhoods into industrial zones.

They’re calling natural gas a bridge fuel, an alternative fuel, the “clean” energy. Enough PR money burnishes a dirty fossil fuel into an environmentally friendly magic bridge to lead us far from our energy crisis. In truth, the production process that endangers public health and safety, depletes scarce water supplies, and generates colossal amounts of toxic waste cancels out the slightly cleaner burn.

It's a heavy toll to cross this bridge. The question becomes: who pays?

Before crossing this magic bridge, we must guarantee that they “Do it Right.” The Federal Energy Policy Act of 2005 essentially removed all federal oversight and regulation of one part of natural gas production called hydraulic fracturing. It also opened up another loophole for stormwater runoff under the Clean Water Act. Drilling Down, written by Amy Mall (blog), Natural Resources Defense Council, lists these and other industry loopholes:

Decades of dealmaking by the industry, Congress, and regulatory offices have resulted in exemptions for the oil and gas industry from protections in the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA, also known as the Superfund law), the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, and the Safe Drinking Water Act. In addition, the oil and gas industry is not covered by public right-to-know provisions under the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act, meaning that companies can withhold information needed to make informed decisions about protecting the environment and human health.

Tough regulations won’t be enough for an industry plagued with graft, patronage and deeply rooted corruption. We must guarantee enforcement. Every stage of natural gas production pollutes and at every stage toxic chemicals are used.

As natural gas production rapidly increases across the U.S., its associated pollution has reached the stage where it is contaminating essential life support systems - water, air, and soil - and causing harm to the health of humans, wildlife, domestic animals, and vegetation.

The Endocrine Disruption Exchange

To continue reading this important and powerful post, CLICK HERE.
Thank you Sharon, for all you do.


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