Marita Noon: Please Don’t Frack

Commentary by Marita Noon - Regular readers of my weekly column may be shocked at my suggestion: “please don’t frack.” But, bear with me. The terms “frack,” “fracking,” or “frack job” have become a part of the vernacular. “Frack” is short for “fracturing.” It generally refers to the process used in drilling for oil and gas known as hydraulic fracturing—a process where pressure is applied to crack rock. Fracking is responsible for America’s newly found abundance of oil and natural gas—hence, the opposition from environmentalists. As the Sierra Club’s Beyond Natural Gas website states, this abundance “displaces the market for renewables.”
     Displacing the market for renewables is bad news for the Obama administration—which has allocated nearly 100 billion taxpayer dollars for so-called green energy projects. Obama’s EPA—under the direction of Lisa Jackson—has repeatedly, unsuccessfully, attempted to tie fracking to water contamination. If fracking can be found to be unsafe, and therefore banned, America’s domestic oil and gas will be kept in the ground, jobs will be lost, energy costs will soar—and renewables can come in as the solution with newfound cost parity.
     But, it is not just about oil and gas. Coal was the first target of the Obama administration’s attack on energy. Using the now discredited ruse of manmade climate change caused by CO2 emissions, the White House pushed for a cap-and-trade bill that would have artificially raised the price of energy. Even with Democrats in control of both houses, thanks to an uprising of the American public in the Summer of 2009, cap and trade never passed. Undaunted, the Administration has continued to push crippling energy policies through executive order, regulatory action, and bureaucratic bumbling. The result has been thousands of jobs lost in coal country where the real unemployment rate hovers around 20%.
     Americans are beginning to wake up. On July 10, Iraq war veteran and coal miner Jimmy Rose captured the national spotlight and became an overnight sensationon America’s Got Talent with his heartfelt song “Coal Keeps the Lights On.” Rose poignantly sings about the benefits of coal and in verse two brings it home: “They went plumb crazy in Washington. They’re talking about closing the mines. They’re gonna bleed us all dry from the inside out. They don’t care that much about the little man or the calloused hands. It’s a way of life ‘round here, just like it’s always been.” The crowd went crazy. The video went viral. Read full column