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Tag Archives: fracking

David “The Suit” Brooks

Following suit with the censoring nature of his colleagues in rightist arms, Ross Douthat and Thomas Friedman, New York Times columnist David Brooks yesterday saw fit to whip out the censor’s stamp for my reply to his Op-Ed item on the virtues of fracking and the lack of virtue in democracy as exampled by people actually learning about and stopping it in their front or back yard.

“but rogue companies have screwed up…”    Rogue companies like, oh, BP. Like Massey Coal. There’s a long list of major corporations which appear to be rogue companies. There was even a US Executive administration that was “rogue”.

If our corporations acted in good faith, if they could be trusted for one honest word, if they did not litter the globe with their messes, then perhaps the conversation could be more civil. But they do lie, they do leave wreckage where ever they go, and they do so in pursuit of profit and as to the rest, devil take the hindmost.

Most of these corporations are firmly Republican in political inclinations. They have bought the government, the judiciary and the press. And Mr Brooks.

The extraction methods of “fracking” leaves ample room for doubts. But that never bothered an American capitalist before as the litter of industrial waste and destruction around our country testifies.

Fracking in the country

For an interesting insight into the nature of “fracking” see this piece, an interview with activist and theater and film director Josh Fox, on his work in making Gasland.

Fracking well, PennsylvaniaToxic fracking slurry pond, Photo: Copyright J Henry Fair (thanks for OK)

One imagines that Mr Brooks, in whatever privileged enclave he lives in, would promptly become a NIMBY were it proposed to start fracking in his neighborhood.  But for those redneck crackers “out there” it’s a bit of money (and a whole lot of money for his friends in the energy business which is the rip-roaring Republican capitalist business) , so what the hell?

How fracking “works”

Like most extractive industries, fracking is a dirty business.  You have to make roads to get where you’re going to drill (often, if not always, paid for with public “socialist” money); you have to get permits from those whose land, public and private, you are going to drill – often done by paying or bribing.  In the case of fracking you must truck in chemicals, water and build a small industrialized base at which you drill, inject your chemical/water/sand compound, blast, and then begin to pump out the gas you have freed up.  Along with the gas comes a slurry of toxics which you must then either store on site, or ship out to dump some other lucky place.   And once you’re done, you can pack up and leave the clean up to the government, or just let those who live around it suffer the consequences.  The good old All-American Way!

Berkeley Pit, Butte Montana.  The lake is highly toxic, and no longer pumped, it seeps into the earth, with houses below it having leakage come into their basements. Butte has a long history of industrial poisoning, quite visible on the streets  in its population.

West Virgina.  Not only is mountain top coal strip mining unsightly, it destroys the adjacent water shed with erosion and tailings being dumped into the local water supply.  Fish and animals disappear.  Humans and towns as well.  But money talks and Massey Energy, famed for its numerous violations of mining regulations and its periodic appearance in headlines over mining “accidents” owns the West Virginia government, as well as the Washington regulatory agency.

Along with many of his fellow 1% pundits, Mr Brooks has been blind-sided and puzzled by the Occupy movement.  Like the others he essentially ignored it until it became too obvious a Pravda tactic, and then like the others – the Time’s Bill Keller, former editor of the rag, being an exemplary of the I-don’t-get-it crew – who, like Mr Brooks, look more and more ridiculous each time they attempt to catch up, they began their diatribes about “class war”.  Living in the cocoon of their wealth, surrounded by like minded souls, they never see the America right before them.  Instead they exchange wisdoms on the golf course or in the board room or in the cozy confines of their gated community or penthouse.  In between they travel in dark glassed limos, surely avoiding an unpleasant neighborhoods, urban or rural.  Naturally, they just don’t get it.  It’s hard to “get it” from a private jet.

Coast to coast