You know we could use a few more laws that protect citizens from all of the hazards which come with FRACKING, INCLUDING JAIL-TIME!
Forgive me if it sounds brash but there are a LOT of irresponsible companies in this industry. Safe technology MIGHT exist for this, but the sheer logic of injecting chemicals into rocks to cause little explosions to “liberate” the gases like methane which are carried to the surface in a chemical soup, much of which becomes “residual waste” does not seem right or ethical to me.
If you did not know there ARE some people who are alert to fracking hazards and in North Carolina three state senators have proposed additional protection FOR THE FRACKING COMPANIES. What happened to citizen health and safety?
Why should the internal trade secrets of the fracking industry be more important than the people those senators allegedly represent?
The bill they have proposed makes it a FELONY if ANYONE reveals what kind of chemicals are being injected with their hydraulic fracturing systems. A FELONY? Jail-time for revealing Fracking hazards? ?For KNOWING the truth? FOR Telling about Hazards?
Of course this is BAD news for all of us. Not just the citizens of North Carolina. But I wonder how many of them know about it?
What makes this so despicable is that this information is important to tell the whole story about this industry and to make the general public aware of the hazards of hydraulic fracturing of the shale beneath their homes. BEFORE IT IS TOO LATE.
Many of the chemicals in use are toxic. So, by labeling them as private and proprietary protects the companies and makes it harder to tell the public what is really going on. The threat of fines and jail time will deter many people from coming forward and being forthright about these hazardous materials.
But, there are already TWENTY states that REQUIRE the fracking companies to reveal their chemicals in use. It is totally absurd to think it is a secret across the industry. To claim that people cannot know the contents seems to be a violation of their own rights.
To attempt to be fair, the people who defend this legislation claim that the laws in North Carolina are not much stronger than those in other states, except,of course, for the FELONY charges. Naturally this suggests that the government is comfortable with standing beside the industry as they intimidate people who speak out about fracking. Of Course. Why are we NOT surprised?
There is an exception. EMERGENCY. If there is an accident or a tragedy the emergency personnel would be allowed limited access to this privileged information. HOWEVER, They would be required to sign documents declaring confidentiality about the information. GOOD GRIEF, as a one time emergency first responder, I can just imagine the chaos THAT would bring about. In addition, it is unclear about whether these same emergency personnel might be guilty of felonious activity if they discuss these chemicals among themselves.
RESULTS? In North Carolina, all fracking has been stopped until more effective regulations could be implemented. Nonetheless, the recent legislation proposals by Republicans are already jeopardizing any new regulations
As you might suspect, those three state senators: Buck Newton, Bob Rucho and Andrew Brock are all on the receiving end of large campaign contributions from significant fracking companies such as Piedmont Natural Gas, Duke Energy, AND from a lobbying company, McGuireWoods, which has known connections with Halliburton and Koch and other big names in the gas industry.
I believe North Carolina residents have the right to know what is being injected into their communities and watersheds. True, making it a crime to expose these toxins MIGHT keep SOME people quiet. We all know that the TRUTH has a way of coming out after a while. The question remains, will it be soon enough to protect their communities from Jail time for revealing fracking hazards?
This post is the opinion of this blogger and is a paraphrased version of the one found on Care2.com.