Monday, 27 August 2012

Frack That

I've just read an article. Nothing unusual in that, but it's one I want to share with you. It's an analysis of fracking and the legacy of Rachel Carson and Silent Spring. There was a paragraph that I had to read several times in disbelief to make sure it actually said what I thought it said. It did:

"In 2005, fracking was granted specific exemptions from the Safe Drinking Water Act. Fracking is also exempt from key provisions within the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act. Chemicals used in drilling and fracking operations can be claimed as trade secrets; public release of their identity is not mandated by federal right-to-know provisions. The Environmental Protection Agency has limited jurisdiction over fracking." [Paragraph 9]

I guess you spotted the bit that struck me dumb with horror. So, tell me, what's the point of environmental law if what it legislates against can be made exempt from it? And tell me again, can you think of any other law that would so easily be ignored for money and fuel? And how do they get away with it? Why do we let them?

I think the only honest reaction is despair. You can chose anger if you'd rather.

This is, of course, American. Could it happen here? We've got precedent for what happens when the irresistible juggernaut of big money meets an irreplaceable environment, and they'll be fracking Britain too. With minimal regulation. And earthquakes.

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