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Study: Fracking could create climate issues

Anyone who still believes that natural gas is a clean fuel might be surprised by the videos, with commentary (http://www.texassharon.com/2019/07/15/is-that-a-methane-leak-or-a-methane-tsunami), showing cancer-causing VOCs and methane freely exiting from horizontal hydrofracturing (hhf) units.

Now a 2019 Cornell study (http://news.cornell.edu/stories/2019/08/study-fracking-prompts-global-spike-atmospheric-methane) reveals that eliminating this flood of fracked methane, a greenhouse gas at least 86 times more powerful (http://www.texassharon.com/2019/09/07/the-global-warming-potential-of-methane-is-damn-important/) than CO2, would keep the planet under the 2 degrees C, warming limit.

Moreover, in 2016, a University of Michigan team discovered that hhf further emits ethane, which also forms lung- and crop-damaging smog. Most alarming is that cheap ethane provided by fracking feeds cracker-plant plastic production, a process so energy intensive that, plastics emit (https://loe.org/shows/segments.html?programID=19-P13-00043&segmentID=1%27A%3D0) 50 times more CO2 than all US coal-fired power plants combined do in a year, according to University of Massachusetts professor, Judith Enck.

Eliminating hhf might be difficult however, because, at all times, its damage is being hidden.

Hhf was the apparent subject of the early 2000s meetings between then Vice President Dick Cheney (https://www.infowars.com/national-energy-policy-the-cheney-law-massacre/), former CEO of Halliburton (hhf developer and purveyor) and the heads of energy companies. These meetings resulted in the Energy Policy Act of 2005 which exempted hhf (fracking) and its wastes from the Safe Drinking Water Act, along with six other federal safeguards.

Why were these meetings held in secret, and why does hhf need exemptions from seven major environmental laws? After compiling over 1,600 reports, the Nobel-Prize-winning Physicians for Social Responsibility and others have concluded that hhf cannot be regulated to safety. Besides uncontrollable air pollution, the below-ground effects are unpredictable and it generates unmanageable amounts of toxic, radioactive waste.

For these and other reasons, 11 nations, three U.S. states and Quebec have banned hhf. They petitioned, used media such as Facebook and newspapers and contacted legislators (straightforward questions seemed especially effective). In view of hhf’s extraordinary hazards, we might wish to do the same. To call: WV Legislature switchboard, 304-347-4836, Congressional switchboard, 202-225-3121.

Barbara Daniels

Richwood