It’s that time again, time to talk about about fracking (scroll). A reminder:
Fracking — “hydraulic fracturing,” technically speaking — involves drilling a pipe horizontally into an underground oil- or natural gas-bearing formation and pumping a slurry into the formation at high pressure to liberate the hydrocarbons trapped within.
Frackers worry that if local residents and authorities were better informed, they’d be able to more effectively push back. They continue to use secrecy by way of withholding of information as their weapon of choice. Ignorance is their friend, but it shouldn’t be ours. Please educate yourselves about the repercussions of this toxic practice.
New Mexico did. Mora County, a poor, conservative ranching region of “energy-rich” New Mexico, became the first county in the nation to pass an ordinance banning fracking due the effect it has on water quantity and quality.
New Mexicans can feel the earth’s temperature rising as we speak as they do their best to ignore the thought of flames pouring out of their faucets.
One resident, Roger Alcon, has “lived off the land for five generations” and would like to continue doing just that.
“I don’t want to destroy our water,” Alcon said. “You can’t drink oil.”
In embracing the ban, landowners turned their back on potentially lucrative royalty payments from drilling on their property and joined in a groundswell of civic opposition to fracking that is rolling west from Ohio, New York and Pennsylvania in the gas-rich Marcellus shale formation. [...]
Among the leading concerns of opponents is the absence of any federal law requiring companies to fully identify the chemicals in their fracking fluids. Such formulas are considered by the industry to be a trade secret. Community-based anti-fracking campaigns — citing public health issues — call for complete disclosure of injection fluids.
Many of us have heard about the “trade secret” aspect of this story before, but are you aware of the assumptions by Big Gas and Oil about us, that we’re too stupid to know what they’re up to? Especially those annoying old people. And simpleminded country bumpkins. And those icky foreigners who come to our country but don’t speak our language:
Sandra Alcon said her neighbors don’t care about mineral rights or oil money. They are angry about the way energy companies’ “land men” treated them. Residents here are seen as easy marks for hustlers offering little compensation for oil and water rights, she said.
“They know we have a lot of elderly and rural people; some don’t speak English,” she said. “They don’t know that some of us went to college and some of us have the Internet.
“I may look stupid, but I’m not. I know what they are doing.”
No, actually, the frackers are the ones who look stupid, stubborn, greedy, and incapable of seeing past their wallets. Keep up the good work, New Mexico. You know exactly what they’re doing and what to do in return.