Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Greetings From "Frackistan"

"Up and down the Rockies, in Texas, across much of the northeast, and perhaps soon in your community, engaged citizens are coming together to prevent the harms of rampant gas development. Like activists across the country, they are motivated, creative, persistent.  But they are fighting with a half-empty toolbox."

The "regulatory system" by which industry is permitted by the state government, does not allow citizens to say "no" to development within their communities such as natural gas/"fracking" and gives citizens less than a "half-empty toolbox." This system permits industrial harm and citizens are powerless to say "no." They must accept a "sacrifice" zone which grows in leaps and bounds once industry has their legalized right (permit) to drill within the community.

But look at the City Counsel of Pittsburgh who passed a Community Rights Ordinance in 2010 that protects the citizen's right to clean water, air, land and to their health and safety and prohibits corporations from harming those rights.  And most importantly, this Ordinance gives the elected officials the power to decide what development will take place within their city.  The Counsel banned natural gas development/"fracking!"  This right to local self governance gives the citizens and the elected officials a "full toolbox."

Check out the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF) and walk this walk, talk this talk, with a "full toolbox."  Let us "push back" against the corporate red carpet that is paving our communities through federal and state government recognition of corporate rights over those of the People!  In solidarity,

22 JULY 2011,
Trip Van Noppen

Last week,  I sat with just such a group in Gunnison County, Co., a beautiful place in the mountains that is confronting rapidly expanding  drilling and fracking for gas. People took time away from work and family to gather and talk about what to do.

Fruit growers are concerned that the contaminated waste water from fracking will damage their crops
 Parents worry about the quality of the air and whether Gunnison will become like Farmington, New Mexico and Pinedale, Wyoming – small towns in the west plagued by some of the worst air quality in the nation because of intensive gas production.

Local business people don’t want to lose the county’s treasured mountains and streams that make Gunnison a recreation destination.

They have good reason to be concerned.

They know about health studies showing toxic contaminants in the air at fracking sites, the reported episodes of chemical poisoning, the flaming water faucets, exploding houses, and fish kills.
They don’t want their community to become like the intensely drilled area to the south, the San Juan Basin, which has been so decimated by gas development that they refer to it as “Frackistan.”...continued.....