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The American federation of unions, the AFL-CIO just released their annual report on workplace safety and fracking deaths are on the rise. Deaths rose by 23 percent just in 2012 alone. The climb in fatalities in oil and gas procurement go back to 2008, when the industry began the dangerous drilling known as hydraulic fracturing or fracking.

Natural gas is a very volatile fuel in any case.

When I was the Chief of Staff of the Utility Workers Union of America explosions and full body burns, while not frequent, were a constant source of concern. In 2011, we had a horrible natural gas explosion in Philadelphia that killed a 19 year gas worker who had been on the job just six months.

In this space we’ve written and documented regularly the danger to fresh clean water supplies, communities, property, and property values and the earth that fracking poses. In Pennsylvania there is a very active anti-fracking movement. There is public education, political pressure, and there are public demonstrations.

One of the key leaders and organizers of the Pennsylvania anti-fracking movement recently took the stage during a gubernatorial debate in classic nonviolent resistance and detailed the terrible effects of fracking before she was pulled away by security officers.

The courageous young woman was Elizabeth Arnold. We will see more from her.

Fracking is inherently dangerous. Even so, it is lightly regulated and is done in large part for export. It is mostly non-union, meaning that the workers don’t get adequate safety and health protection, adequate compensation, nor even a real voice on the job.

Photo source: New Yorkers Against Fracking

Originally posted to StewartAcuff on Tue May 27, 2014 at 05:49 AM PDT.

Also republished by Gulf Watchers Group.

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