Anti-science activists claimed that Houston-based Cabot Oil & Gas Corp. polluted the local aquifer with methane and toxic chemicals. They also disputed earlier EPA findings that the water was safe. If your mind reels at the idea that anyone at the EPA is anti-environment and in bed with business, you are not alone. They have ceaselessly endeavored to take over more and more decisions from the public and Congress in the interests of saving us from ourselves. Nonetheless, if you are on the far left, even the middle left is the right, so they claim the EPA is a shill for Big Frack. They could light a match to the water, they claimed. Basically, like the Cuyahoga River catching on fire in 1969. Well, not all myths should be debunked. Even though it was exaggerated by environmental hippies (in reality it was just some oily debris) it remains a great way to make fun of Cleveland.
Some residents have gotten conspiratorial about it, alleging that EPA people say off the record it is dangerous. Like some people claim the government told them they are hiding UFOs.
Dimock resident Ray Kemble doesn't care what those pesky scientists at the EPA say. "I don't care what EPA says. The water is still polluted. Do something about it."
Yeah, science. Fix it.
That isn't to say I think the drinking water is great. In California there is a pond right near my house. It has fish. I catch fish in there with my son but I would never eat the fish, I don't care how little contamination has happened because of fracking. It probably has lots of other contaminants that I would avoid when I can. 50 years ago water was likely better in many small towns than municipal water. I think that is likely not the case any more but we can't blame fracking for that, it simply has to do with not stopping time and births. More people in more places means more minor contamination but that adds up. It's still unreasonable to expect progress to halt. Growing up, we used to call people who move and then lobby in places not their homes 'Florida conservationists' - they want the environment locked down the way it was the week they moved in next to those of us who had lived there our whole lives.
It isn't just man-made contaminants that may be making Ray Kemble's water contaminated. As every geologist on the planet can tell you, contamination sometimes just happens. It's that random weirdness mutating in nature that organic food proponents love and claim is better than precisely engineered beneficial changes that lead to things like fewer pesticides and therefore less water pollution.
So fracking has once again disappointed opponents by not being to blame. But my gosh, why take the chance in Pennsylvania at all? If only there was some desolate outpost a thousand miles from the North Pole where we could drill for energy. That would make everyone happy, right?
No, it wouldn't. That place exists, it's called ANWR and Jimmy Carter tried to drill there 35 years ago and every president since has wanted to; but anti-science hippies protest that also - because drilling in an area the size of a small airport on millions of barren landscape acres would ruin the ecology, they claimed. So they would rather have oil wells in Pennsylvania where people actually live.
No, they want them nowhere, that is what makes them anti-science and anti-people except themselves; 'Florida conservationists'. 20 years ago natural gas was the Next Big Thing - it has 'natural' in the name after all. Then Ethanol got foisted off on us by activists and natural gas became evil because it isn't wind power or whatever miracle cure they insist we should have next. So they invent goofy claims like that natural gas extraction causes breast cancer (thanks for making that kind of rhetoric legitimate, Rachel Carson) with no evidence. No epidemiologist could find any changes in breast cancer rates yet shrill zealots like Josh Fox, the Oscar-nominated director of "Gasland", still spread a blatant lie as truth.
His evidence? A newspaper article.
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