Well, go figure.
Just as my little town gears up for a battle against the giant Kinder-Morgan Company and its proposed natural gas pipeline, we are told that our electricity costs are going to skyrocket by 37% this winter.
Why, you ask?
Well, obviously! Because there is a desperate shortage of natural gas, and that’s how the electricity is generated.
The big energy companies obviously figure that we’ll all panic at the high costs, and will immediately throw ourselves into supporting the pipeline.
The Tennessee Gas Pipeline (a subsidiary of said Kinder-Morgan) is supposed to stretch from upstate NY to almost the coast of Massachusetts, running through pristine wetlands, forests, fields and streams. If built, it will run right through neighborhoods, and even through backyards. You see, once the fossil fuel giants convince the government that we desperately need the natural gas, they will be allowed to take any property by eminent domain.
So what is a rural homeowner to do? I don’t want to pay 37% more for my winter energy! Yikes! Should I support the pipeline? Maybe we really do need more gas!
But that gas will be accessed through fracking. Is this process safe? I did some research, which was harder than you’d think. I dismissed any reports generated by either the gas industry or any environmental organization. I went to the NY Times, which ran a very non-committal pros and cons article, telling us that though there may be dangers, there may also be benefits. Here is an excerpt from the article: (NY Times: “The Facts on Fracking”)
“The fracking cocktail includes acids, detergents and poisons that are not regulated by federal laws but can be problematic if they seep into drinking water. Fracking since the 1990s has used greater volumes of cocktail-laden water, injected at higher pressures. Methane gas can escape into the environment out of any gas well, creating the real though remote possibility of dangerous explosions. Water from all gas wells often returns to the surface containing extremely low but measurable concentrations of radioactive elements and huge concentrations of salt. This brine can be detrimental if not disposed of properly. Injection of brine into deep wells for disposal has in rare cases triggered small earthquakes.
In addition to these local effects, natural gas extraction has global environmental consequences, because the methane gas that is accessed through extraction and the carbon dioxide released during methane burning are both greenhouse gases that contribute to global climate change. New fracking technologies allow for the extraction of more gas, thus contributing more to climate change than previous natural gas extraction.”
Earthquakes? Unregulated acids and poisons in the water? Radioactive elements in the soil? And this article was neutral on fracking?!!?
But, gee, aren’t we in desperate need of natural gas?
Funny thing about that. I was watching the news on CNN the other day (you know, just to keep my blood pressure up, I track the beheadings and bombings and Ebola deaths). While watching the endless parade of “Breaking News” stories, I noticed that pretty much every 7-9 minutes, I saw an ad featuring happy, smiling people who were extolling the virtues of natural gas. And one ad in particular, by ChooseEnergy.Org, kept breathlessly informing us that “America is now the #1 producer of natural gas in the world!!”
So…..could it be?……Do you think that, possibly, just maybe……a giant multinational corporation and its giant multinational buddies might be putting the squeeze on us in Massachusetts, just so they can force through a dangerous, unnecessary pipeline in order to make even more money?
Shocking, isn’t it?
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