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What Do You Mean by “Safe” Mr. President?

January 26, 2012

An excellent rebuttal from our friends at Catskill Citizens for Safe Energy to President Barack Obama’s pro-shale gas remarks in his State of the Union address:

Millions of people who listened to President Obama’s State of the Union speech Tuesday found themselves speechless after hearing what he had to say about shale gas extraction.  His remarks were by turns reckless, suspect and flat out wrong.

Flat Out Wrong: “We have a supply of natural gas that can last America nearly 100 years.”

In fact, America’s proven gas reserves (272 trillion cubic feet) are only enough to last around eleven years at the current rate of consumption (24 tcf per year).   Even the much more speculative estimate of “unproved technically recoverable reserves” (482 tcf according to the US Department of Energy) is only enough to last around twenty years.

Suspect: “Experts believe this [the natural gas industry] will support more than 600,000 jobs by the end of the decade.”

Apparently the “experts” the president is referring to are industry shills, not staff at the Bureau of Labor Statistics which predicts that the oil and gas industry will employ only 136,000 people by 2018.   And the president, like the industry, fails to estimate how many jobs will be lost as other economic sectors such as agriculture and tourism are crowded out by high-impact industrial development.

Reckless: “…America will develop this resource without putting the health and safety of our citizens at risk.  Development of natural gas will create jobs and power trucks and factories that are cleaner and cheaper, proving that we don’t have to choose between our environment and our economy.”

There’s no way around it.  We do have to choose – between a choice between a sustainable, healthy future and a destructive industrial practice that will fuel climate change, contaminate drinking water and leave American taxpayers on the hook for uncounted billions in environmental cleanup and health care costs.

The science is in Mr. President, there is nothing “clean” about shale gas; it’s not a bridge fuel, it’s a bridge to nowhere.

Or, as Protecting Our Waters Director Iris Marie Bloom told City Paper yesterday, “Obama really needs to be educated about the severity and the extensiveness of the public health impact of fracking. For that matter, he didn’t seem to have realized that the Marcellus shale estimates just dropped by two-thirds,” she says.

Take Action! Call the President on Friday, January 27 as part of the National Grassroots Coalition Call Day. Urge Mr. Obama to stop the shale gas fracking industry because it is poisoning our water, polluting our air, increasing global warming, and threatening the health and safety of so many Americans. Cite findings from the recent Bamberger study about drilling’s human and animal health impacts.

White House Phone Line:

  1. Pat Libbey permalink
    January 26, 2012 3:23 pm

    Yes, Iris, I was shocked by his comments, too! Maybe you need to meet with his advisors!!Pat Libbey

  2. January 26, 2012 8:41 pm

    Same as his B.S. remarks about “clean coal.” He says he’s not taking money from industries. If that’s true, I suppose he simply doesn’t get it– get that these fossil fuel industry CEOs are simply a bunch of unprosecuted criminals of the worst type, whose much touted “jobs” offer employees injury, sickness and death. THAT might be the real untold story of the fossil fuel world. Hello, Mr. President– control of government by corporations is fascism.

  3. Carol Ward permalink
    January 27, 2012 8:33 am

    Mr. President,
    If you have read the reports of an expert in the field of fracking chemicals, Theo
    Colborn, you will see that fracking involves chemical spills. It has done so and will continue to do so. 25% of the chemicals that will leak into peoples’ drinking water from fracking
    will be carcinogenic. This will inevitably shorten the lifespans of the millions of people in
    New York State, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware. This is a genocidal possibility
    and must not take place. You postponed your vote before on fracking around the Delaware
    River basin and that is the only moral choice. This postponement must become permanent
    around every drinking water source in any state. We do not want to be drinking formaldehyde, arsenic, tlouene, and ethylene glycol.


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