by Jen Sorensen
July 1, 2013
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I’m glad Obama gave a speech about climate change, but his ringing endorsement of natural gas development was disturbing. While a good portion of the speech was devoted to praising and defending natural gas, not once did he use the word “fracking.” He allowed that “sometimes there are disputes about natural gas” and said something about “modernizing” the infrastructure, but unless he has some radical new technology up his sleeve, this was a pro-fracking speech. Perhaps he hasn’t seen the devastating documentary “Gasland” yet. Having just watched it myself a few days before the speech, I’m having trouble squaring his statement “I refuse to condemn your generation and future generations to a planet that’s beyond fixing” with the irreparable mess being made right now.
GIVING GAS A PAS
YOU'VE HEARD THE RHETORIC, EVEN FROM THE PRESIDENT.
[Pres. Obama] TODAY WE USE MORE CLEAN ENERGY -- MORE RENEWABLES AND NATURAL GAS.
SURE, NATURAL GAS BURNS CLEANER THAN COAL ...
BUT WHERE DOES IT COME FROM? FROM THE DIRTY AND LARGELY UNREGULATED WORLD OF FRACKING.
[Oil Man] SO ... YOU'RE EXEMPT FROM THE CLEAN WATER ACT, AND YOU WON'T DISCLOSE THE CHEMICALS YOU'RE PUMPING INTO THE GROUND.
[Halliburton Man] BURNS CLEAN!
LOTS OF THINGS SOUND HARMLESS IF YOU GLOSS OVER HOW THEY WERE PRODUCED.
[Woman] THESE DIAMONDS I'M WEARING ARE CURRENTLY CONFLICT-FREE
MAYBE IT'S TIME FOR A LITTLE HONESTY.
THIS BUS RUNS ON CLEAN NATURAL GAS*
* Not counting water contamination, highly carcinogenic chemicals pumped into the earth, toxic pits and condensate tanks, methane leads that add to global warming, spills, air pollution, using millions of gallons of water, poisoning people near wells.