by Arn Menconi
U.S. Senate Colorado Candidate for the Green Party
www.arnmenconi.com | twitter | instagram
Fossil fuel production and consumption have led to huge profits for corporations while they despoil our environment, face us all with health hazards and are the number one contributors to climate change. We have been digging and pumping up oil, gas and coal and burning it for decades. Now the fossil frontier is currently pushing us into extreme extraction such as fracking, tar sands, Arctic drilling, etc. that establishes us even further as a fossil fuel addicted society.
This needs to stop before it is too late. We need to leave these finite fossil fuels in the ground.
Fracking was first banned in Vermont in 2012 and in the entire state of New York in 2014. In contrast, the money fracking brings in, all the jobs it affords us and the economic boom it has brought to Colorado has blinded us to the hidden environmental and health costs we are paying now and will continue to pay for a long time after the oil and gas companies leave.
Let’s not be ignorant of the facts. By injecting water and chemicals under pressure into the ground, the rock fractures and releases coveted gases. The fractures created by this also function as pathways to our drinking water. The Federal Energy Policy Act of 2005 exempted fracking from the Safe Drinking Water Act–this regulatory exclusion is often referred to as the “the Halliburton Loophole”.
This is a tragic example of our politicians in Congress being bought by mega-industries instead of acting in the best interest of the American public.
That isn’t all. The fractures also affect geologic faults which lead to earthquakes such as those seen along the Front Range. During the fracking process chemicals spill into the soil resulting in more ground water contamination.
Furthermore, the disposal of these secret chemical mixtures is an environmental challenge.
The methane that is released during the fracking process gets into our air and combines with sunlight to create ozone in the same way that car emissions combine with sunlight in Los Angeles resulting in smog. This is not healthy for any of us, especially those with respiratory issues. There are days when our own Rocky Mountains can’t be seen from the Front Range due to smog. Methane has also proven to be volatile and creates a potential hazard for fiery blow outs.
As it stands today, the oil and gas industry is at a standstill due to over-producing which exceeded storage capabilities. This is why gas prices are so low right now and one reason the stock market is faltering. This is classic boom and bust industry behavior that reaps huge profits one day and leaves behind a legacy of environmental and economic damage.
The fracking wells that are already in place will produce for decades to come. Do we really need more wells drilled when more environmentally friendly alternatives are being developed? Do we really want an industry to come in and reap huge profits, buy off our representatives, and slowly but surely contaminate our soil and water? Flint, Michigan has a man-made disaster with their drinking supply that took a few short years to manifest. Fracking is just another source of insidious drinking water contamination and I stand against this ticking time bomb.
Leaving fossil fuels in the ground is the best solution for people, the environment and a sustainable future for all. I will fight to keep fossil fuels in the ground and our children’s children safe.