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Holy Moly: Did the Pope Just Come Out Against Fracking?

This picture posted to Twitter sure makes it seem so.

Photo Credit: via Twitter @dpoliti


Not to be outdone by folk rocker Emily Saliers of the Indigo Girls who recently said, “Fracking is a huge, huge problem,” Pope Francis seems to be joining a growing global anti-fracking movement.

A photo posted to Twitter shows the Pope with two men holding a no fracking t-shirt:

Photo Credit: 
via Twitter @dpoliti

Photoshopped? Not according to Foreign Policy, which reports:

The photographs were taken after a meeting in the Vatican on Monday in which the Pope spoke with a group of Argentine environmental activists to discuss fracking and water contamination. He reportedly told the group he is preparing an encyclical -- a letter addressing a part of Catholic doctrine -- about nature, humans, and environmental pollution.

In the pictures, one of the men standing with the Pope is movie director and Argentine politician Fernando 'Pino' Solanas, known for his activism against "environmental crimes" and his film "Dirty Gold" about mega-mining. In particular, Solanas is a vocal opponent of an August agreement between the Argentine government and Chevron to develop shale oil and gas, which he calls "the largest environmental disaster in the Amazon." Drilling for these resources often requires hydraulic fracturing or "fracking," which is criticized by opponents for relying on toxic fluid and posing water contamination risks.

Someone should check the Pope’s Netflix queque and see if he’s recently watched “Gasland.”

Tara Lohan is a freelance writer and former senior editor at AlterNet. She is the editor of two books on the global water crisis, including Water Matters: Why We Need to Act Now to Save Our Most Critical Resource. Follow her on Twitter @TaraLohan or visit her website, taralohan.com.

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