While I’m too young to remember the peak of big tobacco’s true absurdity (“doctor recommended” cigarettes, “scientific” evidence “proving” smoking isn’t unhealthy), I can’t help but feel we’re seeing almost the exact same level of ridiculousness from big oil today. Whether it’s these big energy companies funding “scientific research” to try to cast doubt that climate change is real, or the gall of many of these same companies to claim that fracking isn’t bad for the environment; it just seems like no matter how much factual evidence is presented to counter their nonsense, they’ll continue to deny any of it is true – even if the proof is overwhelming.
Take for instance the seemingly countless examples where fracking has polluted and contaminated local water supplies. People who’ve never had any issues with their water have suddenly found themselves with tap water that’s flat-out undrinkable or even flammable.
Well, a Nebraska farmer, James Osborne, took it to big oil and gas during a conservation hearing when he presented committee members with water that’s similar to that which has been contaminated by fracking.
“So you told me this morning that you would drink this water,” Osborne said.
“So would you drink it? Yes or no?” he asked.
“Oh, you can’t answer any questions? Well my answer would be ‘no.’ I don’t want this in the water that will travel entirely across this state in three days,” Osborne stated. “There is no doubt there will be contamination. There will be spills.”
What he’s referring to is a push by big oil and gas companies to transport out-of-state fracking wastewater into Nebraska for disposal. Opponents of such a move argue that doing so will eventually lead to hazardous spills and potential contamination of local water supplies.
To be honest, I have no idea how fracking is still legal. Well, I know why (money from big oil and gas definitely has power), but I’m not sure how there’s not a much bigger uproar among ordinary citizens. The adverse affects of fracking on local areas is indisputable. Many areas that once had clean drinking water now find themselves plagued with contaminated water and an unprecedented amount of earthquakes.
I have a cousin who works for a company that does fracking who’ll tell you that the corporate level denies it, but almost everyone working for his company knows it’s bad for the environment and it’s causing earthquakes.
Take Oklahoma for example. Between 1975 and 2008, the state of Oklahoma averaged between one and three 3.0 magnitude or greater earthquakes per year. In 2014 alone they had 564.
I know the “fracking boom” has created a lot of jobs, but at what cost? Republicans often say moving away from big oil or coal would destroy a lot of jobs, but what good are these jobs if our planet become uninhabitable for humans? If you want to talk about the ultimate “job killer,” try having a planet where humans can barely (or no longer) survive on it.
But what needs to happen in all of these towns is for locals like Mr. Osborne to stand up to these big oil and gas companies by presenting to their face the facts that they spend billions denying are real. That’s really the only way that we can put a stop to these companies destroying our planet at a record pace.
Watch the confrontation below via Bold Nebraska: