Should we frack our way to prosperity? We have all these attractive, perfectly sane and nice middle class women with intelligent voices appearing in pastel-colored ads telling us that the gas and oil industry will solve our economic woes. They seem to like to buy ads on news channels hoping, I guess, that this will lend their ads credibility.
But I was watching when the Exxon Valdez spilled its oily cargo in the fairly pristine Alaskan waters. I watched bird after bird, covered with gloppy oil being washed by volunteers and I bet we never saw the many, many critters that died.
I was watching along with the rest of the world when the BP offshore oil well blew up killing workers and filling the Gulf of Mexico, a gulf of beautiful tropical waters and healthy fishing grounds and life-giving wetlands, with a surge of crude oil that went on and on and which they had no idea how to stop. BP oil needed help from almost everyone. We also suspect that that oil spilled in the Gulf of Mexico may still come back to haunt us someday in the future.
We want prosperity, but our water resources are at stake. We can’t afford to trust you. We are at least 70% water and we cannot live much longer than three days without water.
We cannot afford to frack our way to prosperity until we can truly trust the oil and gas industries. Humans are flawed and I cannot imagine an endeavor that does not involve accidents that have harmful effects. I think that trust might be having the industry show us a catalogue of accidents that have occurred or could occur and then show us the fixes the industry has developed to deal with each case and tell us what the final impact on people or on the earth, including its water and wildlife, has been or could be. Even given a process that tries to foresee all possible mistakes and negative outcomes, I don’t know if the oil industry will ever be able to regain our trust or if it is even possible to foresee all of the things that could go wrong. Investing in research to find us a new energy source that doen’t rely on fossil fuels might be the best plan of all. Your energy ads are not working, at least not with me. I don’t see how sweet spin can trump the images that are stuck in our brains.