A condensed editorial taken from Bloomberg View, entitled “Making Fracking Safer” appeared Dec. 26, 2014, in the Gainesville Sun. This piece appeared in the Bloomberg View on Dec. 21 of this year and was written by their editors.
The article faults Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York for his recent action of banning fracking in his state. The arguments and the thinking used against him are flawed, and this post would like to point out some of the fallacies.
First of all, the editorial states that it is “…not clear that a ban on fracking protects… the well-being of New Yorkers.” If there is no fracking, there can be no harm; that is pretty clear.
Next our writer says that, by banning fracking, “New York is essentially recusing itself from the national debate over how public policy should balance the risks and rewards of fracking, which is allowed in at least 32 states. Well, yes, it is! Thankfully so! Another very profound statement and very relevant. Thank you Gov. Cuomo!
The opinion piece admits that fracking has “…costs – to public health as well as to the environment…” but it benefits local economies, and state coffers. Yes, at the expense of our health and our world. Is this a good trade-off?
The writer says that “…fracking is far less lethal than coal-fired plants, whose emissions are responsible for more than 7,500 deaths each year.” We are continually learning more about the dangers of fracked natural gas, and it is becoming more and more obvious that it is not the answer to coal because of the methane poisons leaked into the air, and because of the deadly toxins left behind in the earth and in the aquifer from which we get our drinking water. As the gas is being consumed, it burns cleaner than coal, but its acquisition is contaminating and costly.
Again, the editorial says that the answer is not to ban fracking, but to regulate it more carefully and enforce meaningful fines if the rules are broken. At first glance, this may sound reasonable, but anyone who has sat in on a few environmental meetings with the “protectors” and “regulators” of our resources will know that this is deceptive and useless.
Here is a great quote illustrating this truth: “We must resign ourselves to constant losses, endless arguments over how many parts per million of frack chemicals should be allowed in our water, and relegating ourselves to documenting an endless poisoning of the planet.” (“Firing Big Green,” Community Rights Papers #3, published by Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund, Mercersburg, PA.)
Please read that quote again. It is pure wisdom. Regulation of harm is impossible. Harm must be banned. We cannot negotiate on damage, significant harm, insignificant harm, how much poison, or how dead our planet or our bodies will be.
Likewise on the fines. How much? $25,000? How much significant harm will 25 thousand dollars do to a huge oil company? 25 million? Will this be a deterrent? Is this innocence! Simpleness? Slyness? Wisdom? No, it is absolute absurdity!
This horrible editorial is so wrong, and appears to be written for non-thinking people, but you can read it at this link, if you have the stomach for it.
Oil and gas companies are knocking on the door, eager to exploit and contaminate and make money. Some of our leaders in our state who have the power to exclude them or admit them simply can’t wait to welcome them. Everybody will make money and be happy.
But the springs and the river will suffer, as always.