How Obama, Clinton & the DNC forced fracking on the world
This week’s decision by a federal judge to strike down the Obama administration’s efforts to regulate, but not ban, fracking on federal lands overshadows the enthusiastic support from the president, Hillary Clinton, and the Democratic party for what eco-activists call the “rape” of Mother Nature.
Judge Scott Skavdahl, an Obama appointee, ruled in favor of the industry groups and western states who have made billions from the controversial technique in recent years and argued Congress had forbid the Department of Interior from regulating it in 2005.
“Congress has not delegated to the Department of Interior the authority to regulate hydraulic fracturing,” Skavdahl said. “The [Bureau of Land Management’s] effort to do so through the Fracking Rule is in excess of its statutory authority and contrary to law.”
This is the second time that judge blocked executive branch rules after issuing an injunction last September to stop the Interior Department from implementing safety measures.
The court ruled that federal regulation was creating an overlap and interfering with “the state’s sovereign interests,” while ignoring the interests of residents near fracking sites who suffer from flaming water and other dangerous side effects of drilling into the earth with chemicals.
The Obama administration was sued by oil and gas lobbyists like the Western Energy Alliance and the Independent Petroleum Association of America, even though the industry has donated millions to his presidential campaigns, the Democratic party, Hillary Clinton, and the foundation she started with her husband Bill.
The rules applied only to federal and tribal land, despite the fact that the vast majority of fracking takes place on private and state land, the New York Times reports, thanks in part to governors from both parties who support fracking and a push to privatize federal land led by the Fox News Channel, the “Bundy Gang” and the Koch Brothers.
The chemicals used in fracking are ‘secretive’ and companies refuse to disclose their ingredients.
What we do know are the effects include pollution of groundwater, earthquakes, low birth weights, and the release of dangerous methane gas, the second most emitted gas from the US after carbon dioxide.
“Pound for pound”, however, methane is more damaging to the environment than CO2, with an impact on climate change“more than 25 times greater over a 100 year period,” the US Environmental Protection Agency reports.
Recent estimates revealed methane levels from fracking were “radically higher” than previously estimated, by about 27 percent.
The administration announced new regulations in May to cut methane levels, aiming to reduce them by 40-45 percent by 2025. In order to achieve this, companies would have to capture gas and stop leaks in pipes, the Guardian reports, but the rules would only apply to new and “modified” facilities.
Republicans in Congress are trying to cut the EPA’s budget, blocking its ability to move forward with regulations.
“The number and outrageous nature of the riders in this bill pander to special interests at the expense of the public good,”Congresswoman Betty McCollum (D-MN) said.
Republican Hal Rogers, head of the Appropriations Committee behind the cuts, said, “The EPA’s regulatory agenda is not working, certainly not for coal mining communities, American businesses and industries, or for hard-working Americans who rely on having good jobs and reasonable energy bills to take care of their families.”
Fracking requires massive amounts of water, an average of “44 billion gallons of water a year in 2011 and 2012,” and ends up polluting the supply.
The Environmental Protection Agency conducted an assessment on the effects of hydraulic fracturing on drinking water in 2015.
“Some residents living close to oil and gas production wells have reported changes in the quality of drinking water and assert that hydraulic fracturing is responsible for these changes,” the EPA wrote in its study. “Other concerns include competition for water between hydraulic fracturing activities and other water users, especially in areas of the country experiencing drought, and the disposal of wastewater generated from hydraulic fracturing.”
Even though the president has earned the “wrath” of environmentalists, he’s managed to keep the “green” base of the Democratic party satisfied, at least to the extent that they support his potential successor Clinton in the upcoming election rather than anti-fracking Green Party candidate Jill Stein.
This is despite ‘boasting’ about increasing pollution during his 2013 State of the Union speech.
“We produce more oil at home than we have in 15 years,” he noted, adding “We have doubled the distance our cars will go on a gallon of gas.”
Obama received almost $2 million in direct contributions from the oil and gas industry during his 2008 and 2012 campaigns – and he rewarded the industry’s investment in him with a huge shift away from foreign oil dependence to domestic sources, resulting in a now-waning“boom” of jobs, more pollution, and challenging economic problems for oil-producing nations.
He’s also used a Republican linguistic trick by touting oil as part of his “clean” energy plan, using it as a “bridge fuel” to wean the world off more harmful fossil fuels.
Hailed as the person who “brought fracking to the world” as secretary of state under Obama, Clinton has accepted almost $7 million from the oil & gas industry for her 2016 campaign. This includes donations from lobbyists, company employees, and Super PACs that funnel money to Democrats.
As America’s top diplomat, Clinton’s support of fracking was “part of a broader push to fight climate change, boost global energy supply, and undercut the power of adversaries such as Russia that use their energy resources as a cudgel,” according to an investigation by Mother Jones published in 2014.
The fact-checking site Politifact found instances of Clinton and her State Department “talking up fracking to Latin America, the European Union, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Bulgaria, Pakistan, China and India.”
“The United States will promote the use of shale gas. Now, I know that in some places is controversial. But natural gas is the cleanest fossil fuel available for power generation today, and a number of countries in the Americas may have shale gas resources,” Clinton claimed in a 2009 speech in front of the Inter-American Development Bank.
Obama quietly approves hundreds of offshore fracking drills in Gulf of Mexico
Truthout reports the Center for Biological Diversity uncovered documents that reveal the administration approved over 1,200 offshore fracking applications between 2010 and 2014, which took place in hundreds of wells in the Gulf of Mexico, including within the habitat of loggerhead turtles. The administration allowed oil companies to dump over 76 billion gallons of wastewater into the Gulf waters in 2014 alone, the CBD’s press release states.
“The Obama administration is essentially letting oil companies frack at will in Gulf ecosystems and dump billions of gallons of oil waste into coastal waters,” said Kristen Monsell, a CBD lawyer. “Every offshore frack increases the risk to wildlife and coastal communities, yet federal officials have been just rubber-stamping this toxic practice in the Gulf of Mexico for years.”
as i was putting this post together the article linked directly above floated by..timing..
“The Obama administration has granted hundreds of offshore fracking permits in the Gulf of Mexico, allowing dangerous fracking chemicals to pollute the Gulf, documents reveal.”
shh..dont tell anyone..
“Even though the president has earned the “wrath” of environmentalists, he’s managed to keep the “green” base of the Democratic party satisfied, at least to the extent that they support his potential successor Clinton in the upcoming election rather than anti-fracking Green Party candidate Jill Stein.”
fracking is green now??
“He’s also used a Republican linguistic trick by touting oil as part of his “clean” energy plan, using it as a “bridge fuel” to wean the world off more harmful fossil fuels.”