Wenonah Hauter

Bottled Water, Brought to You by Fracking

The new Food & Water Watch report Take Back the Tap: The Big Business Hustle of Bottled Water details the deceit and trickery of the bottled water industry. Here’s one more angle to consider: The bottled water business is closely tied to fracking.

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We Are Drowning in Plastic, and Fracking Companies Are Profiting

We are choking the planet in plastic. Everything from wasteful water bottles to grocery shopping bags are polluting our waterways, and endangering marine life and the natural environment. It’s fair to say that even the most casual news consumer has probably encountered a Facebook post, TV report, or radio segment about the garbage patches in the Pacific Ocean. 

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A Month Later, U.S. Is Failing With Its Food and Water Crisis in Puerto Rico

Update, 10/20/17: Since this piece was posted, we became aware of the Puerto Rico Aqueduct and Sewer Authority’s (PRASA) boil water notice for all people who have access to running water. So, while roughly 70 percent of the island has access to tap water, it appears it is not safe to drink untreated. However, FEMA appears to be reporting this figure as potable water. We’ve translated the boil water notice on PRASA’s site as of October 20, 2017 as the following: "After service is restored -- To ensure that the water is drinkable: boil it for five minutes without covering [and] add chlorine bleach (without fragrance or other detergent), using the appropriate amount for the amount of water you will use. READ THE LABEL before using to guarantee that it contains only bleach. Read the percent of bleach and add the recommended amount to the water according to the table on the left. Mix well with water and leave for 20 minutes. You should be able to smell a faint odor of bleach. If that is not the case, add more bleach and leave for another 15 minutes. You can also use bleach in pill form sold in pharmacies. Follow the instructions on the label."

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Trump Has Displayed a Blatant Disregard for Science, Ethics and Human Rights Based on His Fracking Policies

This article was originally published by the Center for Humans and Nature as part of their Questions for a Resilient Future series: Does fracking violate human rights? To read more responses to this question and to share your thoughts, click here.

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Why Exxon Loves the Carbon Tax - and Voters Should Not

On Election Day, Washington’s voters will decide whether or not the first statewide carbon tax will be implemented in the U.S.—which would likely pave the way for similar initiatives. But before voters go to the polls, it’s important to understand what a carbon tax will and will not do, and that putting a price on carbon emissions is not going to fix our climate problem or save the planet. In fact, it will help the largest perpetrators of climate change—fossil fuel companies—continue to profit from it.

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Too Many U.S. Water Systems Are Falling Apart: Here's the Solution

We’ve come a long way since 1977. We can access full libraries of information at the click of a button, ride in cars that don’t require drivers, and use pocket-sized devices to send electronic mail, listen to music and have groceries delivered right to our front doors. And yet many of our nation’s water systems—utilities that deliver services we take for granted—are falling apart.

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How Fracking for Natural Gas Became the Terrible New Norm

The following is an excerpt from the new bookFrackopolyby Wenonah Hauter (The New Press, 2016): 

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Here's the Book the Fracking Industry Doesn't Want You to Read

My new book, Frackopoly: The Battle for the Future of Energy and the Environment will be released this week and I want to tell you why I wrote it.

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U.S. House Caves to Big Food, Votes to Keep Americans in the Dark About GMOs

This week thousands of Americans took time out of their busy days to call their Senators to demand that they vote against the DARK Act, a bill sponsored by Kansas Senator Pat Roberts, which would prevent consumers from knowing if the food they eat and feed their families contains genetically engineered (GMO) ingredients. Their support for GMO labeling was echoed by more than 600 organizations, including farming and fishing groups and food companies, representing tens of millions of members and customers who this week also urged the Senate to reject this troubling bill. 

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FDA Approves AquaBounty’s Genetically Engineered Salmon Despite Widespread Opposition

Today, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the first genetically engineered food animal, AquaBounty’s genetically engineered salmon, despite insufficient safety testing and widespread opposition. This unfortunate, historic decision disregards the vast majority of consumers, many independent scientists, numerous members of Congress and salmon growers around the world, who have voiced strong opposition.

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Don't Frack With the Pope: Faith Leaders Say It's Our Moral Duty to Ban Fracking

Earlier this year, Pope Francis called for decisive climate action in his encyclical. Now, while the Pope is visiting the U.S. for the first time, faith leaders across the country are speaking out against fracking — a form of extreme fossil fuel extraction that hurts our health and communities, contributes to climate change, and will prolong our dependence on oil and gas at the expense of the development of truly renewable energy.

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How Dick Cheney Kicked off an Era of Cancer Clusters and Eco-Disasters from Fracking

This past Saturday, marked a notable 10th anniversary. But it was certainly nothing to celebrate. Ten years ago, President George W. Bush signed the Energy Policy Act of 2005. The giant energy bill included massive giveaways for the fossil fuel, nuclear and ethanol industries and provided only token incentives for renewables and improved energy efficiency. But the most infamous piece of the law was what is now commonly known as the “Halliburton Loophole,” an egregious regulatory exemption that ushered in the disastrous era of widespread oil and gas fracking that currently grips our nation.

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Senate Bill Seeks to Repeal Mandatory Country of Origin Labeling for Beef, Pork and Chicken

The Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) legislation introduced on July 23 by Senators Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and John Hoeven (R-ND) repeals an overwhelmingly popular food label, surrenders to over exaggerated threats by our trading partners and creates more international trade problems than it solves.

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Are You Ready for GMO Mosquitoes?

This week, local officials in the Florida Keys will decide whether to approve the first-ever release of genetically engineered (GMO) mosquitoes in the United States. Yes, you read that right: lab-engineered mosquitoes could be released in one of America’s favorite tourist destinations very soon, even though it’s unclear if any government agency has evaluated the full array of health and environmental risks associated with these new GMO insects.

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Has Bill Nye Just Sold Us Down the River on GMO Labeling?

You may have heard that popular scientist Bill Nye has mysteriously revised his outlook on genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Several years ago, the children’s show host advocated for the labeling of genetically modified foods, citing concerns about what GMOs could do to ecosystems. But now his position on the controversial technology has flipped. This development is the latest in a trend spearheaded by agribusiness giants to discredit the GMO labeling movement, and it’s especially hard to disassociate his reversal from this PR blitz since it coincided with Nye’s recent trip to Monsanto’s headquarters.

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Federal Approval of Tyson-Hillshire Mega-Meat-Merger Harms Consumers

Earlier this week, the U.S. Justice Department approved the merger between Tyson Foods and Hillshire Brands, requiring an important divestiture, but nonetheless allowing one of the largest meat processing mergers in years.

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Pathetic: How the USDA Cowers to the Poultry Industry

This article originally appeared at the Progressive Populist, and is reprinted here with their permission.

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A Handful of Giant Food Companies Are Winning the Fight to Control Your Dinner Plate

My new book is called Foodopoly. It’s about the corporate control of every aspect of our food system, from how what we eat is labeled to the pesticides we’re exposed to.

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'Foodopoly:' Exposing the Handful of Corporations That Control Our Food System From Seed to Dinner Plate

The following is an excerpt from Foodopoly: The Battle Over the Future of Food and Farming in America, published by The New Press and reprinted here with permission. Copyright © 2012 by Wenonah Hauter. 

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A $2,167.02 Water Bill? How a Water Company Forced a 91-year-old Woman To Sell Her Home

The notion of a profit-driven multinational corporation controlling the supply of water to our homes (yes, the water we as humans rely on daily to drink, bathe and live) seems odd to many. Perhaps as odd as the notion of a corporation controlling (and charging us for) the sunshine we enjoy, or air we breathe. But with so much to worry about these days, it often takes an extreme case to remind us all just how absurd the privatization of water is. The recent case of 91-year old Camden, N.J., resident Eleanor Sochanski and her $2,167.02 water bill should do the trick.

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How Private Water Companies Are Fleecing Their Customers

Ruby Williams, a 78-year-old Aqua Pennsylvania customer, got stuck with a $40,000 water bill because of a serious leak in the pipes under her home in Bristol Township, Pennsylvania. After her situation garnered national media attention, the private company agreed to reduce her bill to a few hundred dollars.

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Are Farm Subsidies Really to Blame for Obesity?

Obesity has reached epic proportions in the United States and its price tag is soaring.

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7 Ways Oil and Gas Companies Are Trying to Buy Positive Public Sentiment for Fracking

Sometimes reality is stranger than science fiction. That's the case with hydraulic fracturing, or fracking -- a dangerous technology that's much like setting off a giant pipe bomb four or five miles underground. Millions of gallons of water, chemicals and sand are injected deep into shale rock formations at high pressures to break open the rock and release the gas.

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Why We Need a National Ban on Fracking

Flames exploding from kitchen taps. Livestock dropping dead from tainted water. People in small towns noticing an unusual stench, experiencing acute headaches, and blacking out.

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Michigan Citizens Win a Victory Over Nestle

Michigan Citizens for Water Conservation went to court on Monday, July 6 and prevented Nestlé Waters North America from pumping even more water from an already depleted stream in Mecosta County to bottle for its Ice Mountain brand bottled water.

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Corporate Water Barons Indifferent to Running Water But Not Security at World Water Forum

Istanbul -- Now into its third day, the World Water Forum has an incredible police presence, and the security is downright oppressive. So much so that there are special VIP entrances and areas – including the restrooms. Yet despite the painstaking attention afforded to security, the forum is lax on certain other logistical details. Last night, one of the buildings that housed panel discussions and workshops did not have water for flushing the toilets or washing hands -- a sad but fitting metaphor for the inefficiencies of privatized water systems that the World Water Forum promotes.

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Small Town Overthrows Corporate Giant for Control of Water

The people of Felton, California learned that they had successfully wrested control of their water from the clutches of a giant corporation on Friday, May 30, 2008.

Many of the 3,000 adult residents of the Felton Water District had been organizing for nearly six years to buy the community's water system from California American Water. Cal-Am is a subsidiary of American Water, which, despite an ongoing sell-off, remains under the ownership of German multinational energy and water titan RWE.

Surprisingly, less than a week before an eminent domain trial to decide the value of the water system, the announcement came that the San Lorenzo Valley Water District would pay Cal-Am $10.5 million in cash for the system. Of course, Cal-Am went for the deal to settle the eminent domain suit against it and avoid a jury trial, said Jim Mosher, who heads up the legal committee for Felton FLOW -- Friends of Locally Owned Water.

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