Fracking In Illinois: Water Contamination.

Posted January 28, 2013

by Jerry Alatalo

“Water is the principle, or the element, of things.”

– Thales of Miletus (640-546 B.C.)

mountain4The most essential resource of all for sustaining life is water. A healthy adult can live for weeks without food, but will die in a couple of days without water. The biggest user of water is agriculture, where 80 or more percent of the nation’s water supply goes to irrigation. So, when there is discussion of hydraulic fracturing (fracking) – its effect on water supplies for human consumption, irrigation of farmland and crops, and the costs to human health, livestock health, and the health of agricultural products cannot be left out of the conversation.

Fracking has become an increasingly controversial practice for one reason. People around the world have become concerned about the safety of their drinking water underground aquifers. In the following short film by Greenpeace USA, former oilfield worker Steve Combs may have simplified the entire fracking debate when he said, “We know we have to have oil, but you damn sure have to have water.”

The film is short in length yet is powerful in its exposure of the consequences of hydraulic fracturing. Mr. Combs lives in the southern Illinois town of Crossville, a typical town in America that could be a town in any of the fifty states which faces the same risks from fracking operations. Steve Combs sums up the situation which men and women across America, and around the Earth, experience when trying to get their serious concerns addressed by political representatives and government environmental bodies.

“It’s hard to get anyone to pay attention”.

While traveling the roads in his rural southern Illinois locale, Mr. Combs talks about oil and gas corporations’ willingness to pay small fines for breaking environmental laws pertaining to polluting the land and water, as this absolves them of having to pay much higher costs for actually cleaning up the land and water to their original state. He describes how in his locale tanker trucks on roads and highways have become more and more common in recent years.

The film lists some of the dangerous chemicals which are being found in groundwater samples. Then it points out a more worrisome fact of hydraulic fracturing chemical composition. Oil and gas corporations are able to omit certain chemicals from reporting because they represent “trade secrets” – the divulging of such chemicals, whatever they are, would hurt the competitive edge of the firm(s). So, it is impossible to know exactly what is in the water used by fracking companies.

As Steve Combs points out in the film, it is also impossible to know how many miles of underground water and soil has become contaminated. He notes that if nothing is done to expose the problems associated with fracking, then it is “just going to keep continuing”.

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For more information please visit: americans against fracking.org 

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(Thank you Greenpeace USA @ YouTube)

 

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‘Queen Of Canada’ Silent On Hydraulic Fracturing.

English: Elsipogtog (Big Cove) Health Centre, ...
English: Elsipogtog (Big Cove) Health Centre, Elsipogtog First Nation, New Brunswick (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Posted December 31, 2013

by Jerry Alatalo

Queen Elizabeth has been mum on what is occurring in her nation of Canada surrounding fracking. Perhaps someone can help me out here. Are reports true that the queen and the “royal” family own Canada? I realize it is a whopper of a question, and perhaps totally naïve, but I would be interested to know if it was possible that a family in 2014 can own an entire nation.

Having written a few articles on hydraulic fracturing I decided to find out what has gone on in Canada recently. The following 25-minute video report was produced by Al Jazeera English, and evidently the mini-documentary was blocked/censored for viewing by Americans. It is an excellent work of investigative journalism. Canada, like many nations around the world, has begun to accelerate fracking operations. There have been many controversies over the practice, including the so-called “Cheney” law, which protects fracking companies from being sued for certain environmental damages their operations produce.

The essential argument against fracking is about contamination of drinking water supplies. In the fracking debate of Canada during the past few weeks First Nation people have protested vigorously to stop fracking, so there is a battle of life philosophies at the heart of the conflict. On one side are corporations who stand to profit from fracking, and on the other are Native people and others who believe that water is essential to life.

What complicates things in Canada is the question of whether or not the Canadian government has properly consulted with Canada’s indigenous people before moving forward. According to the indigenous people, treaties signed hundreds of years ago contain language that requires a cooperative effort when it comes to actions which will possibly ruin land or water – language they claim still applies today in 2014.

Because there is a feeling that the provincial government in Canada where fracking may begin did not fulfill treaty language, that the government did not contact and consult with indigenous leaders, the response has been protest, blockage of highways, and skirmishes. The situation has gained international attention, especially by people in nations where similar controversies over fracking exist. In Elsipogtog, New Brunswick, Canada it is yet unknown whether fracking will occur or not.

In New Brunswick, Canada and nations around the world democracy is on trial when it comes to hydraulic fracturing. At stake is the power of citizens to organize their land and world in ways that they want, without a handful of powerful and wealthy people vetoing that people power.

If anyone reading this runs into Queen Elizabeth – the ‘Queen of Canada’ – please ask her to offer her wisdom to resolve this fracking debate in Canada in a way which will guarantee the greatest health and well-being of all the people of Canada. Surely she must possess the wisdom to suggest the highest, noblest solution to this difference of opinion. Only persons who possess the greatest wisdom in the land rise to become “royalty”.

Right?…

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(Thanks to Courtney Harrop @ YouTube)