To the editor of THE EAGLE:
Dear President Obama:
Today (July 6) has been declared the first annual Massachusetts Independence from Fossil Fuel Day. It is being kicked off at the Hilltop Orchards on Route 295 in Richmond, just east of the border with our companions in New York state who share our vision, many of whom are with us today. We are just a few feet from where the proposed Kinder Morgan TGP high-pressure fracked-gas pipeline would enter Massachusetts if it should ever be built. It is an idyllic location; you must visit someday.
A "statewide rolling march" will start here and end with a ceremony on the Boston Common where a petition signed along the route by "we the people" who oppose this project will be presented to your friend, Governor Deval Patrick.
President Obama, I believe that you were poorly advised when you declared in a State of the Union address that the US would develop its shale gas. That this would be the bridge to an economy based on renewable energy sources.
It is indisputable that the gas industry is destroying the environment in the areas in which it uses hydraulic fracking. It is poisoning aquifers and the air with chemicals which maim and kill life. And, they are destroying the personal property of many Americans and defacing our beautiful natural areas as well. In addition, seismic activity is increasing, and along with it the risk of a major event, especially in the Los Angeles area. Further, the industry is accelerating the rate of global climate change due to the enormous releases of methane gas into the atmosphere.
This bridge is broken! Most life on this planet is composed of water and depends on oxygen to survive! All water and all air are eventually connected. President Obama, I do not believe that it was your intention that these be the consequences of your policy declaration. But, nevertheless, they are the result.
The gas industry employs every deceitful means it can invent, including buying members of Congress and the bureaucracy to stonewall efforts to get the truth out and to corral their behavior. If the industry’s claims that its activity is safe and is not harmful to air and water quality are true then it surely does not need its exemptions granted in the 2005 Energy Act from the Clean Air Act, the Safe Drinking Water Act, the Superfund Act and the Freedom of Information Act, collectively referred to in the vernacular as the "Halliburton Loophole."
So, please provide leadership in rescinding the "Halliburton Loophole." Make the oil and gas industry answerable to the same laws as other industries. These various acts have served us well; some have roots that go back to 1948. And, do all within your power to strengthen the EPA and its regulation of this industry.
Then, reorient your energy policy to an all-out effort to replace fossil fuels with renewable energy sources. Otherwise, I believe that history will judge your and Secretary Clinton’s domestic and global fracking initiatives as a tragedy and a major failure.
The answer to our energy dilemma does not lie in destroying the earth’s water, air and climate. Instead, please do all that you can to expedite the development of renewable energy sources. Scientific studies have shown that the earth can meet its energy needs solely through the use of these sources. The added bonus would be that hundreds of thousands of clean, ethical jobs would be produced.