Josh Fox was promoting HBO's Gasland II this morning on Morning Joe. Josh Fox did a good job of giving an overview of the issue concerning fracking. It got a little contentious around the 4:45 minute mark when Steve Rattner made the mistaken assertion that environmentalists are a one issue group and said that environmentalists cared mostly about the Keystone pipeline and that the anti-fracking movement doesn't have the same oomph as the anti-keystone pipeline group.
Rattner is an economist, so I guess he can be forgiven for thinking of environmental causes as a zero sum game; but maybe not. Is he saying it's impossible to be against two environmental threats at the same time? To be charitable, maybe I should put it in economic terms. Is he saying that you can't be against both mortgage fraud and unregulated derivative trading at the same time? Probably not. So, why he thinks fracking is on the environmentalist back burner is a head scratcher to me. I see news about fracking a couple times a week. It's not a back burner issue to those of us who like potable water.
Here's the clip where Josh Fox talks about Gasland II. Steve Rattner tries to rain on the parade around 4:45.
To make the assertion that fracking doesn't have the same amount of environmentalist attention shows how sheltered Rattner's world is. Maybe if he owned something in the Poconos, he'd have a different take. To say that we don't know all the problems that can be associated with fracking is quite true, but like tobacco; we are assembling more and more evidence every week that shows fracking to not be a good idea. We don't know the full extent of the damage fracking can do to our environment, but the information we have so far is quite troubling. So, troubling that it is time to take stock of the situation. For me, I don't see how contaminating clean water to get dirty fuel is a good idea.
The EPA started to study the effects of fracking until they likely figured out there would be some inconvenient truths in the findings portion of the report and decided to put the study's report off until 2016.
The problem is that people like Steve Rattner like the fossile fuels fracking brings about, but he's comfortable being somewhat clueless about the known hazards of fracking. He also doesn't seem to feel an urgent need to find out about the unknown environmental risks of fracking. Maybe when he gets his first $1,000 water bill for he'll clue in. Then, there's the financial side of fracking and he's uninformed about the financial "benefits" of fracking aren't all they're cracked up to be.
Anyway, if you have a chance you might want to tweet some fracking wisdom to Steve Rattner at twitter.com/SteveRattner.