Tina Ingmann: The environmental tragedy that is fracked gas

Last modified: Sunday, May 03, 2015

To the editor:

I would like to dispute a claim made by the spokesperson from Berkshire Gas. The April 25 Gazette quotes Christopher Farrell as saying the proposed Tennessee Gas pipeline project would “put you at the front of the line for low-cost, environmentally responsible natural gas service.”

Calling a fracked gas pipeline “environmentally responsible” is about as absurd as holding up a snowball to disprove global warming. Yet this is the tactic we keep seeing from energy companies and their elected friends: pitch untrue phrases and images via media and hope that some will stick in the public mind.

Hydrofracturing is an extreme method of extraction where water mixed with toxic chemicals is injected under high pressure deep into the ground. Fracking wastewater is toxic and difficult or impossible to clean. Why are we humans so careless with our precious water? Fracking was given a free pass from regulation under the “Halliburton Loophole.” This loophole was added to the Safe Water Drinking Act in 2005 when former Halliburton CEO Dick Cheney was vice president. Of course Halliburton is a huge player in the fracking industry. France, Scotland and the state of New York have all banned fracking, yet we here in Massachusetts are still planning to consume this irresponsible product.

It’s easy for a person to feel helpless against powerful industries with their deep pockets and ability to buy political access and broadcast disingenuous messages. What can we do? On a personal level: Get informed! The internet holds the key to citizen power, and at this time it is still open. On a community level: Reduce consumption of natural gas though conservation and alternative energy technologies. Massachusetts is already one of the top states for solar adoption. Let’s continue to lead the nation in authentic environmental responsibility by refusing to consume the environmental tragedy that is fracked gas.

Tina Ingmann



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