An Open Letter to the Citizens of Broome County

By The Recalcitrant Gourmet

Dear Broome County Residents,

             As Gov. Cuomo awaits the ‘conclusion’ of impact studies regarding the negative effects of Hydraulic­Fracturing (aka Fracking) on public heath before lifting a statewide moratorium on the environmentally unsound practices, please consider OUR health and the responsibility we have to each other’s health.

I am currently taking (and will be probably for the rest of my life) immune suppressant drugs and my wife is asthmatic. I do not know the health issues of my neighbors, nor do I need to know. However, I know there is a high probability that many of them also have some health issues. I also know, collectively, our conditions will range in severity and how they impact the quality of our lives. Additionally, I know that if our local environment is polluted (like our friends’ in PA) it will severely & negatively impact everyone’s quality of life, property values, and health. Hell, I know the air pollution alone, which has been associated with fracking in other states will make it harder for my wife to breath and enjoy life. What I don’t know is how it will affect me, due to the nature of my medications, or my neighbors. I do know that currently we citizens have no “right” to know what chemicals fracking companies are pumping into OUR land. Our lack of a “Right to Know” is a direct byproduct of both the Obama and Bush administrations’ loopholes that were written by ALEC and Exxon Mobile (they don’t call this the Halliburton Loophole for nothing!). Consequently, I (along with others) may be dead or severely injured before we know our water was turned into toxic slurry by the oil & gas industry.    

I urge every resident of Broome County to pressure our County & State Representatives to ban the practice, (especially here in Broome County) even as newly elected Binghamton Mayor Rich David and long­time Fracking­Cheerleader/pro­privatization County Executive Debbie Preston pave the way for the oil & gas industry to rape our land & air while pillaging and polluting our water.

Why? We have a responsibility to one and other for each other’s health. If you found an unsupervised toddler playing alone on Route 81, would you not stop and call 911? Of course you would! Or, if you saw your neighbor illegally dumping chemicals down a storm drain would you not say something or call the authorities? Allowing OUR elected officials and their wealthy corporate underwriters to contaminate OUR environment while profiting off its destruction is no different. We have a responsibility to protect each other’s health, water, land and air. The Fracking companies only have responsibility to make profits for their shareholders and CEO’s, at ANY cost. Let’s stand united AGINST their greed!

Please keep these facts in mind:

 The CEO of Exxon Mobile, Rex Tillerson, is suing a water company along with several property owners, including former U.S. House Majority Leader, Dick Armey, over a the construction of 160­foot water tank near his multi-million dollar mansion, calling it “[a] monstrosity” that will “create a constant and unbearable nuisance to those that live next to it.” The suit alleges that the tank will be constantly lighted and be very noisy. Additionally, the suit adds that the water company will sell water to drillers for hydraulic fracturing, “leading to traffic with heavy trucks…creating a noise nuisance and traffic hazards.”

 The new regulations the Bureau of Land Management have adopted for fracking companies was written by ALEC and Exxon Mobile: The Country’s largest natural gas extraction company!

 These new rules do not require a safety evaluation of the integrity of cement barriers in individual wells, (the critical barrier between undisclosed toxic fracking chemicals and groundwater), instead they allow the companies to test one well and extrapolate those results to guide the development of others.

 The rules do not require fracking companies to disclose chemicals before they are pumped into the ground. This prevents adjacent communities from testing and monitoring water supplies for any fracking related water pollutants adequately.

 Fracking companies lobbied to have the Clean Air, Clean Water and Safe Drinking acts not apply to the practice of fracking: Because…IT CAN’T BE DONE WITHOUT VIOLATING ALL OF THESE environmental protections.

The Fracking Industry LIES and POLLUTES! It is our responsibility to each other as Broome County residents to stop them and those in OUR local government from entering our backyards and endangering OUR health!

 

 

 

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