The face of pure evil.
It's hard to pinpoint the most troubling part of this week's Seattle Weekly feature story on fracking by Denise Grollmus. Is it the tainted water supplies? The fiery faucets? The dying livestock? The kids passing out in the shower? The devastated land? Or, maybe, the extreme and obscene efforts the natural gas industry has undertaken to bankroll "science" supporting its claims that fracking is safe.
The face of pure evil.
*See also: Fracking: Boom or Doom?
It's courtesy of that last line that Aubrey McClendon, CEO of Chesapeake Energy and one of the bums responsible for stealing the Sonics from Seattle, makes an appearance.
An outspoken advocate for natural gas and fracking (because, you know, the shit makes him a lot of money), as the feature story points out, McClendon is just one of many uber-rich, environmentally-unconcerned villains pumping money into efforts to mislead the public when it comes to the practice of pumping water, sand, and a crapton of chemicals into the earth in hopes of a financial windfall.
As this week's fracking feature notes:
But while environmental regulators continue to see no evil, Cornell University engineer [Tony] Ingraffea is just as vigorous in warning of the dangers [of fracking]. "Four years later, the industry is still trying to figure out what to do with their crap," he says. "Bad things happened. And bad things continue to happen."
His biggest beef is with the industry's misinformation campaign. Despite all evidence to the contrary, gas companies claim that it's impossible for fracking fluid to come in contact with drinking water. "They are simply telling downright lies because they think people are stupid, but this is really street-smart stuff," he says.
One of Ingraffea's studies debunked the natural-gas industry's claims of being green. Since fracking wells and holding tanks leak up to a trillion cubic feet of methane gas into the atmosphere each year, their greenhouse effects can prove to be even more polluting than burning coal.
The industry responded as it usually does--by paying handsomely to have his findings refuted.
One major study by MIT--"The Future of Natural Gas"--was funded by the American Clean Skies Foundation. The president of that group? None other than Aubrey McClendon, CEO of Chesapeake Energy, the second largest producer of natural gas. Ingraffea sees it as part of a pattern: The industry buys off the country's most prestigious universities "like MIT to do pseudo-science."
It's disturbing, disgraceful, and downright heinous.
But, for McClendon, that's really nothing new.