Lawsuit for our times: hydrofracking

I thank Elizabeth Kolbert who, in the December 5, New Yorker‘s lead Talk of the Town piece, wrote about the dangers of hydrofracking, such as “tap water turning brown and, on occasion, explod[ing].”

In the 2005 energy bill, largely crafted by Vice-President Dick Cheney, fracking was explicitly exempted from federal review under the Safe Drinking Water Act. As a result of this dispensation, which has been dubbed the Halliburton Loophole, drilling companies are under no obligation to make public which chemicals they use. Likely candidates include such recognized or suspected carcinogens as benzene and formaldehyde.

… As the Times recently reported, contamination with fracking fluid has occurred. (Details of contamination cases are difficult to get, because most of the records have been sealed in litigation.)

Litigation. I hadn’t known that Cheney wrote this act, hadn’t understood then about hydrofracking, didn’t know that the process was exempted from review.

Litigation. That’s the part I’m happy about. In the face of such legislative overreach, we sue. We can sue. Let us all be thankful.

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