“Someone needs to explain to me…” Winona LaDuke

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Ok. I’ll play that devil if you need an advocate.

The Southwestern Energy Company (the corporation in question) would argue that fracking (the act in question) is not “proposing to destroy water with chemical warfare”. It’s drilling a hole a mile below the water table, sealing it with steel and concrete, and fracturing the surrounding rock with treated water to let the gases escape up the hole.

They would argue that fracking fluid is a reasonably low percentage of what is used, the vast majority being water and sand; they might even link you to the [press release](http://www.swn.com/operations/documents/frac_fluid_fact_sheet.pdf) where they explicitly point out the content of their fracking fluid, and that they recycle it.

They would argue that reports of flammable water predate fracking by a couple hundred years, and that their correlation with the presence of fracking wells can be attributed to the presence of loose methane in the rock diffusing naturally into the ground water as it has always done. They’d argue that living with occasionally flammable well water is and has always been just part of living in areas that have natural gas deposits – whether they’re being fracked or not.

I mean, there are problems with fracking: rarely, the well sealant doesn’t hold, and some of the water does leak out – though the concentration of dangerous things is actually lower than most residential effluent; the act of fracturing rock is not only directly correlated to earthquakes, but that correlation has a reasonably plausible mechanism behind it; natural gas is a fossil fuel which releases carbon dioxide and contributes to global warming; the EROEI of fracking is relatively low when compared to other energy sources.

But none of that makes a corporation a terrorist.

There are good arguments against fracking; drinking water is not one that has grounding in science. That you’re fighting to fix something that isn’t apparently broken, that’s what makes you an “activist” in the pejorative sense (that is, “activist”, when the word is spat. I rather like activists when they’re fighting for good things, like skepticism and vaccines and greener energy and the like).

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