From Thursday, July 26, through Saturday, July 28, thousands of people will gather in Washington DC, for various aspects of “Stop the Frack Attack.” Click here for full information. At 1:30 Saturday afternoon, a multireligious service of grief and hope for the endangered earth will be held at the US Capitol, followed by a rally to oppose fracking.
After many local, state, and regional actions against fracking, this will be the first national action. The Shalom Center is one of many co-sponsors. We initiated and are co-organizing the Saturday afternoon multireligious service.
Highlights: Thursday, Lobbying; Friday: Training in various forms of effective social action, followed by a strategy discussion and “town meeting”; Saturday, at US Capitol: 1:30 pm multireligious service of grief and hope for the Earth, followed by 2 pm rally and then march to Big Gas corporate HQ.
Tisha B’Av begins at sunset on Saturday, July 28. It is the Jewish day of mourning for the destruction of two ancient Temples in Jerusalem and of hope that from this disaster would emerge the great transformative coming of the days of peace and justice. The service at the Capitol will draw on and go beyond Tisha B’Av. It will lament the danger we face today of destruction of the “Holy Temple “of the Earth itself, and celebrate the hope that our action can heal it.
What is fracking, and why is it a danger?
“Hydro-fracturing” (hence “fracking”) is the process of forcing tons of chemicalized water under very high pressure into shale rock that is suffused with natural gas. The gas thus forced out can be collected and piped to be sold as energy. Major shale rock regions include the Green River deposits in Colorado, Wyomin, & Utah, https://theshalomcenter.org/sites/all/modules/civicrm/extern/url.php?u=7... the Marcellus region in large parts of Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, and New York State.
There are three dangers:
1) Multiplying reports that where fracking is done, high amounts of methane and unknown other chemicals in the fracking water poison nearby wells, turning drinking water flammable and carcinogenic. (Touch a match to the kitchen faucet: a torch!) If the number of fracking wells rises from thousands to tens or hundreds of thousands, as the Big Gas corporations want, the drinking water of great cities like Philadelphia and New York will be imperilled.
2) The very process of fracking releases so much methane into the air that methane, a very powerful planet-heating gas, becomes an enormous contributor to global scorching and the climate crisis that is already causing unprecedented droughts and fires in Texas, Colorado, the US corn-growing states, central Africa, and Russia, and unprecedented floods in Pakistan and Vermont.
3) Fracking companies and their allies have used their enormous corporate profits to grasp even greater political power in national and state governments, and thereby to grab even greater subsidies and profits. Nationally, they won the Halliburton Loophole (spurred by Vice President Dick Cheney) exempting the oil and gas industry from reporting and regulations under the Clean Water Act. In Pennsylvania, they won a law forbidding towns and cities from regulating where and how fracking could happen — nullifying even local rules forbidding fracking near schools where it could endanger the health and lives of vulnerable children.
This increased political power makes it even harder to get Congress and state legislatures to focus on the need for sustainable non-fossil-fuel sources of energy, like wind and solar power.
All three of these results of fracking violate the Holy Unity that is the Interbreathing / YHWH of all life.