Call and Write President Obama Today!
Dear Protectors, Today, Friday January 27th, is the day to call/email President Obama to urge a U-turn on his embrace of toxic shale gas! The White House Phone Line:
The National Grassroots Coalition, United for Action, Catskill Citizens for Safe Energy and others are joining Protecting Our Waters in urging calls and emails all day today. Here’s the shortest version of the message we want you to get across:
We were appalled Tuesday night by President Obama’s comments on shale gas. Mr. Obama, who sounded more like an industry spokesman than ever, grossly overstated the safety, the abundance, and the number of jobs the industry can create. He is just plain wrong on all three counts. He was referring to industry-produced studies (like the tobacco studies of past decades) predicting 600,000 jobs as estimates from “experts”, but the real experts — the Bureau of Labor Statistics — predict less than one-fourth that number by 2018. And the president, like the industry, fails to estimate how many jobs will be lost — far too many farmers, for example, have already lost their livelihoods due to extreme pollution and animal deaths caused by shale gas drilling — as other economic sectors including agriculture and tourism are crowded out by high-impact, overwhelmingly polluting (and ugly) industrial development.
The President overstated the amount of shale gas believed to be recoverable: proven reserves will provide 7 to 11 years, and unproven (speculative) reserves may provide up to 20 years, which does not add up to 100. The federal Energy Information Agency just dropped its estimate from Marcellus reserves down to 6 years from its previous estimate of 17 years. It’s not worth extensive damage, including deaths of people and animals, and long-term poisoning of air, aquifers and climate, for short-term profits. The damage will last literally thousands of years. Poisoned aquifers simply cannot be un-poisoned, and there is no technological fix for climate change, which peer-reviewed science shows to be hastened more by shale gas than by coal.
Worst of all, the President believes industry can “develop this resource without putting the health and safety of our citizens at risk.” That is simply not the case. Hydraullic fracturing itself is inherently contaminating, as the EPA has found in Pavillion, Wyoming. And that’s not all. Millions of truck trips combined with waste fumes and toxic compressor station emissions cause irreparable — and unregulated — damage to air and climate. And here in Pennsylvania, for example, the industry dumps toxic waste just about everywhere — in creeks, streams, ponds, on dirt roads and paved roads, illegally and legally — into coal mines, whatever it can get away with in the rush to frack. By the time regulators even begin to catch up with them, they will be gone. That’s already happening out West; when sick people try to contact the shale gas fracking corporations which poisoned their air, water, land and lives, the corporations have changed hands so many times by then that they cannot be found.
For the past three years we have documented the various ways in which this industry is inherently contaminating and inevitably harmful. A ban for generations, or at minimum a moratorium while the cumulative impacts are studied, is the only responsible position with regard to public health. It is outrageous that our President is selling shale gas drilling as safe, while people across the country are suffering severe health impacts at the hands of the drillers and non-disclosure clauses enable the industry to keep their legal settlements secret.
Call the President today at 202-456-1111 as part of a nationwide effort coordinated by the National Grassroots Coalition. 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/Oswald study about gas drilling’s human and animal health impacts.