Recently large-scale secrecy has been a hot topic; the NSA/PRISM scandal has led many Amercans to question their relation with the government. Secrecy isn’t limited to the government though; for years now, drilling companies have been trying to keep their dangerous drilling practices, called “fracking,” hidden from this country’s citizens. Why? It turns out the environmental effects of fracking may be more dangerous than originally thought.
Fracking is a relatively new type of drilling practice that is used to extract oil, natural gas, and other fuels from the ground. Since fracking has been around, it has been thought that it was a relatively safe practice with no negative, long-term effects. Recently though, this sentiment has been reversed. Studies show that the chemical that is pumped into the ground to perform the fracking is actually highly dangerous and spreads when it is ejected into the ground. There have even been cases where citizens’ drinking water has become so polluted that they could literally light their water on fire! Ingesting this water causes severe irritation of the throat, eyes, lungs, stomach, and other organs. If fracking introduces acidic pollution into the ground and water, why has it not been a major controversial story? The answer to this question is simple – the drilling corporations want to keep it a secret. Fracking also simply depletes the water from a given area, making drought problems worse and leaving many places high and dry without clean water to drink or bathe in.
The only people who are affected by the fracking are citizens who live in the area where the drilling is taking place. They are the ones who cannot drink their faucet water anymore. We haven’t heard stories from these people though because the drilling companies silence them. It is a lot more effective for the corporations to pay “hush-money” to the citizens who are affected to keep quiet about the situation, than to fight a lawsuit in court and bring it to the general public’s eye. However, we are supposed to have a safeguard from this type of dangerous environmental pollution in the form of governmental protections.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has sole responsibility over the fracking industry to research the effects of fracking and to monitor the drilling companies to make sure their practices are safe. It seems that the EPA does not care about the dangerous fracking practices though, or if they do, they aren’t telling the public about it. In the same way that corporations “buy” politicians through campaign donations, it seems that the fracking corporations have been able to silence the EPA. It likely has to do with the alleged connections of some EPA officials with politicians. Although the EPA is supposed to be independent of any other government entities, it seems that some politicians do have influence over the EPA. Corporate money funding the campaigns of marionettes in congress is silencing the EPA.
This coporate control over the people directly and through government is exactly what corporacracy is all about!Corporations would rather profit off of the land than use it responsibly and preserve it for future generations. Again, this problem boils down to corporate greed and their short-sighted desire to pursue one dimensional self-interests above all else. We need to make sure that the public is aware of the dangers of fracking and make sure our government enforces the environmental protections that they put in place! Some research has been done on alternative ways to perform the fracking process, and it seems that there may be cleaner ways to perform this operation. Namely, less acidic and harmful chemicals can be used to pump into the ground. Corporations have been cutting corners to make extra profit, but it’s time that we start forcing them to be responsible with their practices.