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From the file of Like that will ever happen, the New York Times kills some dead trees to promote a so-called centrist alliance between the Audubon Society and ConservAmerica called, believe it or not, the American Eagle Compact.

The notion is to revive the sense of shared purpose that led to overwhelming approval of the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act and the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency four decades ago. The idea is hardly new: a coalition of sportsmen and progressive environmental groups was organized to lobby President George W. Bush on wildlife issues eight years ago, and local and regional nonpartisan alliances have formed on a number of specific issues.
Yeah, like that worked out soooo well. We all recall Dubya's sudden turn to protect the environment his last four years, because it was so fabulous.  Must be why the GOP Tea Party Hpouse fo Representaives sponsored 247 votes on bills to weaken environmental protections, including 109 bills to help Big Oil out leading it to be called out by Democratic Reps Rd Markey and Henry Waxman as the Most Anti-environmental House in history:
The House of Representatives holds the title of the most anti-environment House in congressional history. Led by Republicans, the House has voted against the environment 247 times in the last 18 months, averaging one anti-environmental vote for every day the House has been in session.

The newest report, released by Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) and Ed Markey (D-MA), finds that many of these votes have directly benefited the oil and gas industry.

But that doesn't mean that trend can't be reversed by the good old bipartisan centrism like policies promoted by the American Eagle Compact such as - Fracking!

(Mr. Sisson): [ConservAmericaa] actually has a policy up on our Web site called Cleaner Here and Now. We think natural gas is an incredibly important energy source for the coming decade. [...]

(Mr. Sisson): Fracking’s been done for 50 years in this country. In Michigan, where I’m based, the natural gas boom is really expanding all of a sudden. We’d like to see fracking come under the Clean Water Act requirements. We think fracking can be done safely to realize the benefits natural gas can bring us environmentally and economically. [...]

(Mr. YarnoId) [Of The Audobon Society]: I agree. That’s a sound and responsible approach. As Rob said, the Susquehanna River doesn’t recognize any boundaries. Audubon actually is not suggesting that fracking is a terrific thing. I think the science is unclear.

So, the path to responsible centrist, Republican and Demicratic environmental cooperation means we nee to Frack the country for Natural Gas - responsibly of course.  Yes, I can fee lNYT editors' "moderate" orgasms bursting out all over regarding Dems doing what Big Oil and the Republcians of all stripes want - more environmentally disastrous hydrofracking, because, of course, the sicence on the damage being done is "unclear."  Except to the scientists at the EPA that is:

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said for the first time it found chemicals used in extracting natural gas through hydraulic fracturing in a drinking-water aquifer in west-central Wyoming. [...]

The EPA dug two deep monitoring wells into the aquifer and found “compounds likely associated with gas-production practices, including hydraulic fracturing,” according to today’s statement. Levels of the chemicals in the deep wells are “well above” acceptable standards under the Safe Drinking Water Act, the agency said.

Fracking chemicals may have entered the aquifer through faulty well construction, gaps in impermeable rock or fractures created during drilling, the EPA said.

And the potential for earthquakes caused by fracking:

Nine quakes in eight months in a seismically inactive area is unusual. But Ohio seismologists found another surprise when they plotted the quakes’ epicenters: most coincided with the location of a 9,000-foot well in an industrial lot along the Mahoning River, just down the hill from Mr. Moritz’s neighborhood and two miles from downtown Youngstown.

At the well, a local company has been disposing of brine and other liquids from natural gas wells across the border in Pennsylvania — millions of gallons of waste from the process called hydraulic fracturing that is used to unlock the gas from shale rock.

Oh, an the fact hydrofracking may very well increase the release of one of the worst greenhouse gases, methane, into the atmosphere.  Not to mention the known increased levels of methane found in groundwater near hydrofracking sites:

A team of Duke researchers has found high levels of leaked methane in well water collected near hydrofracking and shale-gas drilling sites, according to a study funded by the Nicholas School of the Environment and the Center for Global Change. The 60 samples were gathered from private groundwater wells from five counties in Pennsylvania and New York.

“Eighty five percent of samples contained detectable levels of methane,” said Stephen Osborn, an earth and ocean sciences research associate at the Nicholas School. “We noticed that, on average, natural gas concentrations in homeowners’ wells where there is natural gas extraction is 17 times higher [than areas where there is not natural gas extraction].”

And lots of other toxic and carcinogenic chemicals finding their way into our water supplies wherever fracking occurs:

Chemicals used to extract natural gas from vast areas of the United States include “extremely toxic substances, such as benzene and lead,” according to a new report released by members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

Twenty-nine of the chemicals are known or possible human carcinogens, regulated under the Safe Drinking Water Act for risks to human health or listed as hazardous air pollutants under the Clean Air Act, according to the report.

“This report shows that these companies are injecting millions of gallons of products that contain potentially hazardous chemicals, including known carcinogens,” said Rep. Henry Waxman (D) of California, senior Democrat on the committee.

But hey, who cares about that just so long as Democrats and Republicans can agree on such moderate and bipartisan solutions to our looming environmental disasters.  Except where are these moderate Republicans ready to stand for environmental protections?  Cowering in fear, it seems, as even the Republicans the NYT interviewed admitted:


(Mr. Sisson): Absolutely conservatives can find common ground and develop approaches to solving or mitigating the problem. The issue, as David alluded to earlier, is the way our political system works right now. With primaries so partisan, most Republicans don’t dare mention it publicly for fear they won’t come out of a primary.

We have close relationships with maybe 50 or 60 Republicans on the Hill. They all get this — they understand the enormous ramifications and risks to our nation and to national security. But they have a question: “Would you rather have me here or have me lose to someone who comes from an entirely different place?” There are a lot of conversations in conservative circles right now about the evidence that man, particularly with a lot of burning fossil fuels, is the primary driver of what we are seeing.

Q.  Those must be quiet conversations.

A.  They are quiet conversations. That’s one of the great things about the compact. These Republicans are looking for cover. They are looking for support back home from a broad range of constituents who will back them up when they take a stand on this and other issues.

Yes, quiet conversations that will accomplish nothing.  Because these Republicans are not in control of their party.  Just ask John McCain and Mitt Romney and all the other Republican candidates for any other office  who discarded their pro-environmental views when it became time to win their nominations and get elected.  Yet, thanks to the New York Times we are "reminded" that some Republicans really aren't all bad on the environment.  They won't do anything to protect it, but they care about it, they really do.  Not enough to take a stand or fight to change the toxic policies of their Party, but they will hold anonymous, quiet talks about their concerns.  How gracious of them.

Is it just me or does anyone else think this is just another scam by the Grand Old Party to pacify centrist Dems?  Thanks dear Old Grey Lady for helping them carry out their con game on Dems still gullible enough to think moving the Democratic Party's center further and further to the right is the way to win elections.

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