Michael Riordon

the view from where I live


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Scotland the brave

Good news: Scotland freezes fracking.

Scots protest fracking

Scotland says: Don’t frack.  Photo: the-news-daily.com

Energy Minister Fergus Ewing announced that the moratorium would stand until “a full public consultation on unconventional oil and gas extraction” had been initiated and completed.

A week later, more good news: the Welsh government also voted to block fracking until it is proven safe for the environment and public health.  Note:  It cannot be proved safe, since it is everything but.

Neither of these initiatives is an outright ban, but in New York state, years of citizen campaigning led to a similar moratorium, and finally last month to a ban.

For a close look at the dirty business of fracking, see Bold Scientists.  Scroll down to chapter 10, The unsolved problem.

 


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A multitude of threats

“The natural gas boom has led to cleaner power and greater energy independence. That’s why my administration will keep cutting red tape and speeding up new oil and gas permits.”

– President Barack Obama, February 12, 2013.

Not so fast.

fracking sign, no open flameFracking waste-water. Photo: SFAA News.

July 10, 2014, Concerned Health Professionals of New York released a report that sets the record straight on the hazards of fracking.  Sandra Steingraber, PhD, co-founder of  (CHPNY), explained to the press, “This compilation of findings brings together data from many fields of study, and reveals the diversity of the problems with fracking—from increased flood risks to increased crime risks, from earthquakes to methane leaks.  What this multitude of threats all have in common is the ability to harm public health.”   (From an EcoWatch report.)

In New York state, fracking – shattering the earth’s crust with a toxic mix of water and chemicals to extract gas and oil – has been held at bay so far by vigourous citizen opposition.  But as the industry spreads rapidly across North America and around the globe, it generates huge profits for corporations, and a tidal wave of misinformation from their enablers in government and the media.

Every place where fracking invades, public opposition springs up, but until recently it’s been hampered by lack of access to scientific data on the hazards. Now professional organizations like Concerned Health Professionals of New York (CHPNY) and Physicians, Scientists and Engineers for Healthy Energy (PSE) are breaking through industry/government secrecy to liberate the necessary data.

An invaluable resource, the ground-breaking (in the best sense) new report from CHPNY can be read and downloaded here.

Dig deep into the science vs fracking story in Bold Scientists: dispatches from the battle for honest science, coming September 2014 from Between the Lines.