Friday, March 28, 2014

The Daily Show with Jon Stewart: The 'Benefits' of Fracking?

On March 27, 2014 The Daily Show with Jon Stewart did a satirical piece on the 'benefits of fracking' featuring real Bradford County, PA residents Christine Pepper, Carol French, Dan Natt, Carolyn Knapp, and Triple Divide documentary film makers, Joshua Pribanic and Melissa Troutman.
Photo: My brother and Melissa on the daily show 󾌸

Truth in humor: The segment was intended to be quite funny - and it was, but more importantly a satire to bring national attention to the very real harm and abuse being levied on the residents of rural Pennsylvania, and everywhere that unconventional shale gas/oil extraction is taking place.

It also highlights the misleading "talking points" the industry relies on to promote their agenda as expressed by shale gas shill for the drill, Marita Noon, executive director of Energy Makes America Great, and Citizens for Responsible Energy.

(*If they were truly about "responsible energy", they would be promoting clean, safe, sustainable, renewable energy sources - but they're not.)

Ms. Noon claims that "fracking is safe and environmental groups use fear, uncertainty, and doubt to plant ideas into people's minds".

As someone living in the shale fields of the Marcellus in NE PA, I can assure you that there is no need for anyone to "plant ideas into people's minds".

The evidence of the negative, toxic, and destructive impacts of this extreme form of fossil fuel extraction surround our communities. Water contamination (161 confirmed cases documented by the PA Department of Environmental Protection), reduction in air quality, forest fragmentation, well blow-outs, pipeline leaks, failed well casings that are causing migration of methane, and toxic chemicals into fresh water aquifers, eminent domain abuse, loss of property value, heavy industrial truck traffic/traffic accidents,, damaged road ways, sickness, death, threats to public health and safety of our communities, the loss of a sense of security and peace in the sanctuary of our homes, etc., and all of the activity one would expect to see in any extreme industrial zone.

The problem is that this is not being restricted to "industrial zones". Instead, it is being inflicted upon what was once quite, rural, bedroom communities, family farms, and state lands that are supposed to be protected and preserved for recreational use in the "Commonwealth of Pennsylvania".

These are the issues that industry operatives like Marita Noon doesn't want to address.

The oil and gas industry is NOT our "good neighbors", and have little to no respect for the communities they occupy.

If any individual, organization, or foreign entity inflicted the harm this industry has inflicted on the people of rural Pennsylvania, they would rightfully be charged with committing acts of terrorism, and prosecuted.

However, thanks to the revisions in the 2005 US Energy Policy Bill - drafted and sponsored by Vice President Dick Cheney [a former Halliburton CEO], the oil and gas industry was made exempt from many EPA regulations, as well as the Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act, and the Superfund Laws, they are not held to the same standards as every other industry. They have also lobbied to have many of the chemicals used in the hydraulic fracturing process deemed as "proprietary trade secrets" making it nearly impossible to hold them responsible for the unavoidable damage they cause by conducting this extreme industrial process.

Although I have never met Christine Pepper, I do know, Carol French, Carolyn Knapp (Christine's mother), and Dan Natt, and can vouch for their integrity, as I have witnessed much of the harm they've had to endure. These people are salt of the earth farmers. They are people of unimpeachable character. They know their land, they understand how to care for it, and they know when something is wrong. They are not what anyone would consider "tree huggers, or hysterical environmentalists". They are people whose right to clean water, clean air, and safety within their homes have been violated.

I also know documentary film makers Joshua Pribanic, and Melissa Troutman, personally, have had them as guests in my home, and can testify to their honesty, integrity, as well as their professionalism as journalists.

I suggest you watch this segment of the Daily Show, and while it's okay to smile and laugh the humor in which it is presented, keep in mind that these are real people who have been abused by the oil and gas industry.

The Daily Show:

I also recommend checking out Josh and Melissa's superbly done documentary Triple Divide for a more sober view of the impact this industry is having on the environment, the ecology, the aesthetic beauty, and the lives of the people of the Pennsylvania shale field extraction zones.

Triple Divide:

And remember... don't believe the industry's PR rhetoric, or the shills for the drills "talking points". Do your own homework! Visit the regions where this is happening, talk to the people who are living this industrial nightmare, see things for yourself, and most importantly, think for yourself.

John Trallo
Vice Chair Executive Committee,
Shale Justice Coalition

1 comment:

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