Below is blog I wrote about a year ago and never published.  The facts aren’t from the latest data, but they remain true over time.  That is the good thing about facts: they don’t change.


I have a friend who says,” That is unconscionable” when someone is making bad decisions that are of questionable ethics.  Recently I decided what we are seeing with the pollution from Oil and Gas Drilling/ Fracking raises to the level of being unconscionable.

The EPA has given the Oil and gas Industry broad exemptions from the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act.  “In additions to these exemptions from parts of the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act, the oil and gas industry enjoys loopholes in a handful of other laws including the Safe Drinking Water Act, the Superfund Act, the Community Right to Know Act, and the National Environmental Policy Act.”  http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2013/03/15/1726901/  This article also says:  “At the same time oil and gas companies benefit from loopholes in laws designed to protect public health and the environment, they are making record profits.  In 2012, the largest five oil companies–– BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil, and Shell– made $118 billion in profits.  They also receive $2.4 billion in tax breaks every year, effectively making Americans pay twice for gasoline, both at the pump and through the U.S. Treasury.”

We know that our water is being polluted by these loopholes.  A study by Duke University published in October, 2013 reports high levels of radioactive waste, bromide and other salts.   One of the researchers stated: “Years of disposal of oil and gas wastewater with high radioactivity has created potential environmental risks for thousands of years to come.” http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131002092621.htm  “”It is clear that this practice of releasing wastewater without adequate treatment should be stopped in order to protect freshwater resources in areas of oil and gas development,” Vengosh said.”

The health community is concerned.  The American Nurses Association in June of 2012 called for a fracking moratorium due to concerns about the potentially harmful impact on health and environment.  The resolution called on nurses to become engaged in energy policy.   A June 2013 American Journal of Nursing article describes concerns for health. http://www.scribd.com/doc/145844886/Fracking-and-Health   “It’s believed that the potential health consequences of fracking begin at the onset of drilling and may last long after the operation has concluded. Researchers have described an array of environmental factors and health risks associated with fracking and other extraction processes.”  The article further states “Methane is only one of many chemicals of concern. In Pavillion, Wyoming, the EPA detected high concentrations of benzene, xylenes, purgeable hydro-carbons, and gasoline and diesel by-products in shallow groundwater near fracking-wastewater holding pits. Collectively, these chemicals present risks of neurotoxicity, reproductive problems, and cancer. The EPA determined that the most likely cause of the groundwater contamination was leaky pits used to store fracking fluid waste.  Groundwater contamination from toxic drilling wastewater poses a health risk to humans, as well as to pets and farm animals that drink or bathe in the contaminated water. “

Physicians are also expressing concerns:  “The chemically complex world in which we live today continually exposes us to an abundance of industrial toxins that are in our food, water and air supply. All of us carry an unknown burden of environmental contaminants that affect our health, including unborn fetuses. Many toxins cross the placenta, and newborns today are born with at least 200 to 300 chemical contaminants in their cord blood, and in meconium, amniotic fluid, and placenta or in their mother’s breast milk.  Furthermore, mixtures of different chemicals can act synergistically to potentiate adverse developmental effects and many serious chronic diseases including cancer, later on in life.  These alarming facts caution us to pursue greater awareness and wiser, more carefully regulated approaches to future industrial endeavors such as hydrofracking.  http://aapdistrictii.org/update-on-hydrofracking/

What we are experiencing is an industry that is greedy enough to put profit ahead of the welfare of people.  We have politicians who are allowing the poisoning of our air, land and water because of the clout of this industry.  This intentional slow devastation of our environment is unconscionable.

If we as citizens don’t move to change this effect, our inaction is also unconscionable.

About Karen Dike

I retired in 2013 after working for over 40 years as a Registered Nurse. I worked mainly in the critical care areas as an Administrator. After I moved back to Colorado, to be near my grandchildren, I discovered how fracking was decimating this beautiful state, damaging communities and affecting health of the citizens. I am now spending my retirement fighting this reckless, dirty industry.

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