The Uncensored Consensus: Fracking Really Is a Bad Thing

I’ve been called every nasty name you can think of, in the Comments sections of articles about Fracking that is. Epithets hurled at me include: tree-hugger, Chicken Little, anti-, Leftie, kool-aid drinking hippie and – my personal favorite – a nimby. I’ve also been called a liberal, idealistic, elitist, obstructionist and a dumb Democrat. Those are the accusations that actually make me stop and think. Have I somehow gotten this “frac’ing” thing all wrong? Is it possible that drilling for shale gas is the best thing since sliced bread? Maybe I’m merely raging against the machine, opposing something that truly is a “blessing under our feet”?

Most recently, in the Comment section of Lucia Graves’ Huffiington Post piece, Josh Fox Condemns Fracking About-Face By USDA, I was called a “green zombie” by someone named Oil Patch.

I’m still wondering why people are still believing Gasland. Wake up!” wrote HUFFPOST SUPER USER, Personal Beliefs.

Thinking Fox has been unfairly vilified enough, and frankly just annoyed by how the Gas Industry is rending apart the fabric of life in my state, I left a terse Reply:

“We are awake, and we won’t stop opposing shale gas because the Gasland water scenario is repeating itself across Pennsylvania, in The Woodlands in Butler County and in Franklin Township… because toxic air emissions are patently visible with infrared, and CH4 contributes way more to climate disruption than CO2… because methane contamination in our watersheds is increasing… because fraccidents are piling up, and violations are occurring at the rate of 12-a-day… because DEP funding is short and gas companies are left to regulate with “peer pressure” and “a culture of excellence”… because a single industry is pulling the strings of the Corbett administration… And because we believe renewables are, ultimately, better for the health of our planet.  Evolve!  ~ KeepTapWaterSafe”

To which, Oil Patch replied:

I often wonder what the ‘green zombies’ perception of operations in the Oil and gas industry? Do you think we spend hundreds of billions a year and set out with polluting, ruining landscapes, driving liberals crazy and poison our children? Do think we are sitting in a dark, cigar filled board room deciding which ocean to spill millions of barrels into? Just like any industry there are unethical people but largely composed of hard working and honest people. Stop watching so many movies “gasland”, we are a proud and resilient industry that unleashes hydrocarbons to power the world. Unlike Josh Fox, I produce oil…a product that makes your everyday life possible and fuels the world economy. Josh is selling DVDs (like that guy at my local flee market) and he isn’t helping anyone but himself.

HUFFPOST SUPER USER, Carla van der Meer, in scientia opportunatis, joined in next:   “Just a corrupt greedy industry that gets far too many breaks due to bad legislation. And ‘green zombies’ is offensive.”

I also replied to Oil Patch:  “I think the Oil & Gas Industry spends hundreds of millions each year to convince us that they’re not polluting, ruining landscapes and poisoning our children. That said, I’m sure there are many well-intentioned professionals in your industry, and I appreciate their efforts.”

Suffice it to say, I beat Oil Patch’s 10 fans by one, but Personal Beliefs had a healthy lead at 89. It was van der Meer who took the round, though, with a 104 fans. Make that 105.

Hoping to spread some good anti-fracking karma around, I “liked & fanned” this eloquent Comment by VAppalachia, further down the thread:

We should demand just as much fact-checking from the natural gas industry, its lobbyists, and apologists as we do from certain documentary film-makers. For example, if the gas industry still cites the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s 2011 supply estimate of the Marcellus shale gas reserve of 410 trillion cubic feet (tcf), even though this estimate has recently been revised downward to 141 tcf, is that an outright deception?

Then, 6 minutes later, VAppalchia added to the Personal Beliefs comment thread:
Drilling advocates and apologists should move on from their angst about “Gasland”. Despite the drilling industry’s eternal quibbles with technical content, there is nothing your industry can do about the public perception problem the movie created for you other than to STOP contaminating US water supplies and behaving like colonists in rural communities. Instead, because your industry has made little effort to act responsibly going forward (despite its claims in TV commercials), the list of contaminations and people whose health, property and water have been harmed continues to grow, thus vindicating Mr. Fox. Surely you know there is another film that documents similar issues: the Emmy Award-winner “Split Estate?” Why are so many different people telling the same story?
I’m nodding  my head “yes” as I read this. I no longer feel like a lone Nimby in search of truth, but a proud, Green Zombie.
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