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Happy Earth Day. Way back in Jurassic times, we dinosaurs wrote here—about respected, got-no-dog-in-this-fight scientists’ findings that high-pressure disturbance of Mother Earth’s crust triggers earthquakes —“And this is California. Who needs more fracking quakes here?” That Southern California oil company just dropped its billion-dollar lawsuit against the good citizens of San Benito County for passing Measure J. A judge had already stopped their drilling.
But that company really wanted to drill San Benito County. One way or another. Even though high-pressure oil extraction—even the steam method injects leukemia-linked benzene—is expensive. And oil prices dropped like an oil-bearing rock. So, did the voters save those drillers money? Fossil fuel king “Tyrannosaurus” Rex Tillerson rakes in $40 million a year running ExxonMobil: the monster oil corporation cashing in the most chips from today’s hydraulic fracturing crapshoot.
Yet, quaking with anger that his monstrous Dallas-area McMansion might pancake or get its kitchen sink napalm-bombed, “T. Rex” sued his Texas county’s water-hogging frackers. And cut off their precious water supply.
Can we “fault” T. Rex for his “Not in My Fracking Back Yard” lawsuit? Because, thanks partly to T. Rex, lots of America looks like Godzilla rampaged across it. God’s Country looks more like “Godzilla’s Country.”
Plus, the Julia Roberts movie “Erin Brockovich” exposed kid-killing “cancer clusters” caused by PG&E secretly leaking poison into Californians’ underground drinking water supply. Unsafe drinking water is the world’s single biggest killer. And before high-pressure fracking, quakes were rare in Texas. So swarms of quakes have Texans like T. Rex, to quote the immortal Elvis Presley, “all shook up!”
World markets set gasoline prices. So gas prices paid locally by us—(and by our old, chronically-truant economics student, Ferris Bueller, to refill that borrowed Ferrari after Ferris’s “Day Off” joyride)—wouldn’t drop a penny from drilling sideways under our neighbors’ back yards. But leaking/injecting cancer-and-birth-defect-causing poisons through local drinking and irrigation water could cost us plenty.
With oil prices plunging, will drillers clean up the poisonous, Saran-wrapped lakes of rock-dissolving drilling fluid infectiously scarring Godzilla’s Country? Congress passed the Superfund toxic dump cleanup bill in 1980. But taxpayers are still cleaning up Silicon Valley’s and Fort Ord’s poisoned groundwater.
Remember British Petroleum drillin’-and-spillin’? And-killin’ America’s Gulf Coast? “Stuff happens!”
High-pressure drilling leaks more climate-changing greenhouse gas than all the—uh, incontinent—cows on the planet. And that’s no bull. Last year, California’s worst drought in recorded history helped “beef-up” beef prices 20 percent. While corporate high-pressure drillers were outbidding American farmers and ranchers for water.
Did neighboring frackers help dry up those Central Valley wells? Remember Valley folks showering in church parking lots? Maybe folks just wanted to shower on TV? At church? Sure, who couldn’t use the cash from selling rights to drill under our neighbors’ yards and poison their well water? Times have been so hard all over since the Not-So-Great Crash of ’08 that one brewery in Denmark even cancelled its employees’ paid breaks.
Not paid coffee-and-Danish pastry breaks. Paid beer breaks. During that fine Danish brewery’s work breaks, brewskis are no longer “on the house.”
Is nothing sacred? Corporate T. Rex-Godzillas are trying to drown out safe water cell-phone-and-shoe-leather volunteers. By blitzing and brainwashing voters. With multimillion-dollar TV campaigns selling “The Joy of Fracking.”
Karen and Tom Lantz are from Hollister.

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A staff member wrote, edited or posted this article, which may include information provided by one or more third parties.


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