Grassroots Groups Unite For Statewide Ban on Fracking in New York

"We spent three years trying to prove that fracking could be done safely, and what we learned is that it can't be done safely. It is incredibly dangerous; it is incredibly toxic."

The following is from Sabrina Artel'sTrailer Talk: The Frack Talk Marcellus Shale Water Project. Listen to the complete program here.

There's a huge battle happening in New York. Catskill Mountainkeeper, the only land-based "keeper" organization in the country, took a position on July 1 (along with other 49 other grassroots organizations throughout the region) in support of a statewide ban on all gas drilling. Drilling in the region currently uses a controversial new Halliburton-created technique of slick water hydro-fracking to capture the gas embedded in the shale rock formations.

Catskill Mountainkeeper and its allies have taken their position in part because New York Governor Andrew Cuomo recently announced his support for lifting a temporary ban on drilling and moving forward this year on fracking parts of New York. Ramsay Adams, the founder and director of Catskill Mountainkeeper, lives in the Sullivan County Catskills and comes from a family of naturalists and environmentalists. His father, John Adams, is one of the founders of the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and his grandfather was with the U.S. Forest Service in North Carolina. I spoke with him on July 26.

Sabrina Artel: We're exploring the impact of natural gas drilling on New York's water resources and the issues being debated in our neighborhoods throughout the country and globally. What defines the American Dream, and how does it impact the decisions being made in our communities? Local culture, generations of history and beloved homes can be lost when the oil and gas companies, intent on fossil fuel extraction, move into a new region. We're facing a complete shift in our region as this largest-ever concentration of gas lies in wait beneath our feet.

Ramsay Adam is the executive director and the founder of Catskill Mountainkeeper. We're going to talk about what Catskill Mountainkeeper is, what they do, what they advocate for. We're sitting on Ramsay's porch in Lew Beach, New York, which is in Sullivan County in the Catskills.

And Ramsay, what am I hearing? I'm hearing a river in the background.

Ramsay Adams: This is the convergence of Shin Creek and the Beaverkill River, so you hear the Beaverkill as sort of the deep roar, and then the rumbling stream is Shin Creek coming down off the mountain and meeting the Beaverkill.

SA: And what about these mountains we're looking at? They are large mountains just in front of us on the porch here.

RA: In the heart of the Catskills, we call that mountain Magic Mountain. These are incredible hills. Most of them were clearcut, as most of the Catskills were, for tanning -- the tanneries and the hemlocks -- so they basically clearcut all these hills, but they've all grown back, so these are 100-year-old forests. And this is part of the largest sort of contiguous forest block on the east coast. What you look at if you look at a satellite of the Catskills, you see this incredible swath of contiguous forest land that extends all the way through the Hudson Valley, all the way into Pennsylvania, and it's really an incredibly important environmental and geological and natural asset that we've got here.

SA: And before we begin talking about natural gas drilling and fracking, which is where this conversation really has to go at this point because of the work that you've been doing with Catskill Mountainkeeper and the shift now that we're in. In New York State it's July 25th; it's 2011; and things have changed because of the DEC -- the Department of Environmental Conservation's SGEIS -- their draft supplemental generic environmental impact statement -- is coming out. They've come out with their regulations, and because of the stands Cuomo has taken, I want to talk to you about that.

But before we go into that, why should we care? What does it mean to protect the Catskills and to advocate for this environment and, of course, for everyone and everything that makes its home here?

RA: The most incredible thing about the Catskills is the incredible diversity ... the perceptions that people have of the place. There is a Greater Catskills Region, which is seven counties, 6,000 square miles. It's Otsego, Schoharie, Greene, Ulster, Delaware, Albany, and it's an enormous place. And it goes all the way from the Leatherstocking District down into the Hudson Valley, over to the Delaware Valley, and it's just an immense, abundant resource, particularly of water, but also of land and agriculture. It's majestic beauty.

In fact, the modern environmental movement began here -- the Hudson School of Painters came up here to these grand hotels on the eastern side of the Catskills, and they painted these incredible photographs, and it really enlightened the nation as to what it meant to be American and to have this incredible beauty. And these are stunning places, and the Catskills has over 35 mountains that are over 3,500 feet. Trust me -- I could drop you in a place in the Catskills and guarantee you wouldn't get out alive. It's not a soft place -- it's a rough place. You know, these are real rugged mountains, and it's a dynamic place.

So, you get over into the Beechwoods over toward the Delaware River Valley, and it's sort of rolling hills and stunningly beautiful countryside with beautiful farms. You get in here to the southern entrance to the Catskill Park in Sullivan County, and you sort of enter into this magic land of rivers and beautiful old farms and sort of the dramatic valleys. And then you head up through Frost Valley and into the High Peaks region, and you really realize it's just a stunning, beautiful place. And I think that's really an important piece to this.

And even more, the people who live in Delhi and Walton and Cairo and Hancock and Ellenville all have a different perception of the Catskills. They all live here and they all think of themselves as living in the Catskills, but someone in Hancock and someone in Ellenville have virtually no common experiences. There's almost nothing the same about the way they live, and they don't hear the same radio, they don't read the same newspapers, they don't talk the same language, they don't fish the same way, they don't hunt the same way. And it's pretty fascinating; it's a huge place, and it's a beautiful place, and people who live here are truly passionate about it.

SA: And Ramsay, with Catskill Mountainkeeper, how are you connecting the work that you're doing in the Catskills as the environmental advocacy group for the Catskill region, including all of these counties that you were mentioning, and the rest of New York State? So, beginning with the work that you're doing with Mountainkeeper here in the Catskills, and then connecting it to New York State and what we're facing right now with gas drilling and fracking; and also, how that connects to the national conversation happening around gas drilling, and how New York is significant in this conversation that's happening right now; and in this battle that the state is in right now, and what the state is facing with gas drilling?

But first, let's start with sharing with us what the mission is of Catskill Mountainkeeper, and how long you've been around.

RA: Sure. In 2007, there was a very aggressive strategy by casino operators and Native American tribes to turn the southeastern Catskills -- Monticello, the town of Thompson -- into the next Las Vegas. They wanted to build five casinos here -- massive Las Vegas-sized casinos, Indian-run. It was a scheme like none other had ever seen where you'd have all these different tribes with their own independent nations running these massive casinos, and then cigarettes and alcohol and the whole combination of things that you get with these things. It was a done deal. And I and other folks who really saw this as a horrible choice put together a strategy to organize grassroots people who would be affected by this to stand up and say, most of us don't want this crazy thing. There's just a lot of vocal proponents of this crazy thing, but the majority of us don't want it, and we're going to put together a grassroots organizational structure so those people can be represented.

And what we realized, that really what this part of the world needed was a grassroots environmental advocacy group that looked at not just casinos, but any issue that may be coming down the pike -- unforeseen issues. We know about the Bellayre development, which is a controversial major resort development for the ski slope, and that was a "hot button" issue. We knew about the New York Regional Interconnect Power Line issue that was poised to slice down the Delaware River, and there were people organizing around those specific issues. But there was no group that said, "We are here to stay; we're fearless; we're going to fight to protect this place."

So, we set up Mountainkeeper, and it was very simple. A friend of mine said, "You know, what we need is a riverkeeper for the Catskills," and I was, like, "Eureka -- we need a mountainkeeper." And it's the first land-based "keeper" organization. It's independent of the other "keeper" groups, but it uses the spirit of that model. So, there's 100 riverkeepers, baykeepers, oceankeepers across the world; we're the only land-based "keeper," but we follow in that spirit, which is that we are going to litigate; we're going to organize, mobilize and promote and protect the Catskills.

So, that's how we got started, and this is all pre-gas drilling. We started Mountainkeeper and no one knew anything about fracking. Our goal was to sort of call our friends and people that we had heard of in these various communities across the Catskills and ask them if they would set up hors d'oeuvres and invite their friends over so we could come talk to them and start to get to know the issues and the people in these communities. And I hired a really bright, energetic young guy to be my Program Director. He's a farmer; he lives off the grid with his family; and he's a real Catskills character. And the two of us started to go out into the world of the Catskills and tell people what we were trying to do.

There's no other group operating in this part of the world, and that's fascinating, because not only did the modern environmental movement start here in the Catskills -- and the Catskill Park is the oldest park in America. Woodstock, the concert, happened here; and Woodstock, the town, which is sort of this bastion of liberalism is here; and there still was no organization that was here organized to advocate.

SA: And what for you is the connection between patriotism and activism?

RA: Well, I fancy myself the proudest American. I mean, I really am deeply patriotic. I don't think that in any other country you have the kind of ability to effect positive change through your right to speak, and free speech is the core principle. And we sort of have a free press -- we sometimes wonder how free it is, but here I'm talking to you and it's going to be up on AlterNet, so that's certainly free press. We've got major issues; catastrophic environmental decisions are potentially going to be made the next couple of months, weeks and years. And it feels like David vs. Goliath, and Goliath is ExxonMobil and the Cuomo administration, and the Obama administration, all in cahoots to roll over us. And that's true, but this is still America, and it's up to us; it's one vote away from changing it all. If the citizens of New York State and the citizens of America say, "We don't want this," then all they have to do is vote in somebody who won't let it happen. But that's what is so wonderful about it.

The challenge is when you're up against the richest industry -- Big Oil and Gas -- ExxonMobil. You know, they literally have bottomless pockets. So, for the little guy, the little Mr. Mountainkeeper, to be up against the biggest industry in the world to try to protect the place that they want to suck money out of, that really does go to the heart of what democracy means. So, I mean, that needs to be talked about -- who are these people and why do they wield so much influence over everybody and everything? And why would a tough guy like Andrew Cuomo be beholden to them? Is he a "Cheney's boy"? Why? And why is that the situation we're in?

SA: Ramsay, let's talk about, then, specifically what's happening right now with gas drilling in New York State and fracking, and the stance that Mountainkeeper took before, which was to secure along with many other groups through the state for a moratorium to wait and see what these draft regulations would be with the DEC -- where we are now, because I think things have shifted radically, and I'd be interested what you think about that and what that means.

RA: Let's go back; let's do a soft timeline. Mountainkeeper -- we were in our office in Youngsville, which is a little hamlet in Sullivan County -- Wes Gillingham, our program director, and I -- and a farmer came in -- this is in 2008 -- said, "You know, a landman has come and offered to lease my land for gas drilling. Here's a copy of the lease. What is this all about?"

And I literally had no idea what he was talking about. I had no concept of it; no concept that there was shale underneath us with gas in it; no concept of what a landman was; no concept of what a lease was, mineral rights.

So, we went back and started asking questions, and asked some friends in the environmental movement what they knew about it, and they said, "You're in big trouble. We've heard about this Marcellus shale. You're in big trouble. They're going to roll over you They're going to destroy you. If you hear about the landmen now, they've been around probably operating for six to eight months, and probably have leased up a bunch of land already. So, your only hope is to get out in front of this. It's probably too late, but there are some really great people."

So, we got a small grant and flew in people from out west -- folks from Wyoming and Colorado -- grassroots activists who dealt with the same issue out there.

SA: And I'd like to say that you sponsored the first public forum that was at the Liberty High School, and then also in Walton in Delaware County in the Catskills, that brought these people in and allowed the public to come to listen, to share, to ask questions.

RA: Yeah. And that was really the first that a lot of people had heard about any of this publicly. They may have had a landman come to their house, but this was the first -- we had 1,000 people show up at these things.

What we realized was that they were coming, that this was dangerous, that this was a really frightening situation, and that we needed to get all the facts and information that we could, and that set us down a path at Mountainkeeper of trying to be honest brokers of information. And the first thing we learned was that the permit conditions the state had ... the conditions that the state would issue a permit for gas drilling didn't relate to this kind of fracking; it related to the old kind of vertical well extraction, where you literally drill a hole and stick a pump in there and suck it up. That was what the rules were for.

And we went to, at the time Patterson -- we've been through three governors -- and said, "You cannot start issuing permits under these conditions. They don't reflect this technology at all."

SA: And how does this new fracking technology ... how does it work? How is it different from the old style?

RA: Basically, all natural gas is not created equal. It's a fossil fuel. It is exactly like oil; it's ancient organisms and things that have been compressed and carbonized over millions of years, and there are big vast reservoirs of natural gas that are literally liquid reservoirs underground, that you drill a hole and suck it up; put it in a pipe; and be done with it.

Then there's other kind of tight shale formation natural gas where it's little pores of natural gas living in a tight solid rock, and they knew that there was gas in there with no way of getting it out, until they sort of went to the extreme ends of the earth with this blasting process called "fracking." So, they drill down a mile, and then they drill horizontally out another mile, and then they just poke holes in the pipes that they've got under there and blast the rock apart, and then let the natural gas pool, and they suck that up.

So, it's really a tough industry; it's a tough technology. It's a brutal technology and it requires vast amounts of chemicals -- toxic, carcinogenic chemicals -- and immense amount of energy to do this -- diesels, generators and trucks. So, it's a really dirty, dirty, dirty process for natural gas. It's so dirty, it's dirtier than coal -- the life cycle of fracking -- which is an important point that I want to talk about later.

There's five major points that the pro-gas people make, and each one of them is false. One is that it's clean fuel. It's not clean at all; it's dirty. It's a dirty fossil fuel; it's not going to help us from our climate fight perspective at all; it'll hurt us.

So, that's the process of fracking. You blast the rock; you suck it up; you put it out. You can frack a well 13 times. It's like spokes on a wheel -- when you drill down and you drill out -- like, 13 spokes. And then each frack job takes about 5 million gallons of water, so you're looking at each well, 5 x 13 -- I'm no mathematician, but that's a hell of a lot of water, all ruined, taken out of the water table, sucked up from this beautiful place.

Becoming toxic waste with no strategy, no mechanism to actually deal with it, because they really can't ... they leave most of it underground and hope nothing happens. And the stuff that they do suck up, they can't treat it; it's hazardous waste -- it's dangerous hazardous waste, so they forced us to classify it as "industrial waste," and again, this is an industry that's just run roughshod over all of us, so we know it's toxic, they know it's toxic, but they're forcing it to be considered "hazardous," which means that the local municipal water treatment facility is going to be obligated to take it and run it through their system.

SA: And there are so many layers to this that you've already mentioned, because there's the actual destruction to the environment; there's the vast amounts of water that are used and then also that become toxic waste. There are issues with land use, with municipalities, with roads, with infrastructure -- all of that.

So, I would like, though, to focus with you on where we are now and what's led you to push for a statewide ban.

RA: Well, what we learned from the folks out West was that ... basically they said, "Look at what we did, and don't do that, 'cause that didn't work, so do something else. We lost. They rolled over us; they ruined us," which meant that they weren't ahead of the state, so the state was issuing permits for this process, this fracking technology, without understanding what the implications were, with no strategy to deal with that.

And then we looked at Pennsylvania, which is about a year ahead of us -- or behind us, depending on your perspective. So, you see in Pennsylvania they are fracking these wells and having all of these problems, you know, one after the other after the other, and all eyes are on them because they're sort of touting them as, "Look, we can do this safely," and they just keep having major disasters, and we can talk about those disasters -- but major, major problems.

So, Mountainkeeper -- our position from the get-go was, "We need to learn as much as we can about this. We need to make sure that we understand whether or not it can be done safely," and that was the key -- Can they do this safely? Is the technology safe? If there are best regulations in the world and the best practices in the world, is there a way that fracking is safe? And that was a very honest approach to this problem. We had a theory that it could be proven safe -- let's prove it to ourselves. And so, we spent three years trying to prove to ourselves that it could be done safely, and what we learned is that it can't be done safely; the technology is just not there. It is incredibly dangerous; it is incredibly toxic.

And furthermore, the process of fracking for gas requires the industrialization of the landscape and the destruction of communities. So you get to the point where it's not only toxic -- they're not only stealing our water and polluting it and putting chemicals into our air and our land; they are also going to roll over our communities and industrialize the landscape, cut down our forests, and set our communities up for a boom-and-bust cycle, which is what happens every time. And so, you basically have a process that is unsafe, unsound, economically unviable, and will ruin everything about the Catskills. And only a few people make money; everybody else will be left holding the bag.

So, we changed our position when we not only realized, but we were absolutely positive that you couldn't do it safely. So, it ceased to be really honest for us to be talking about the strictest regulations when even with those it wasn't safe.

SA: And Ramsay, how much did the DEC's draft, coming out recently within the last two weeks -- how did that affect your position?

RA: We forced Patterson to put a moratorium and re-do the regs, that under Spitzer and Pete Grannis, the previous DEC Commissioner, they issued a Draft Supplemental to update the 1984 regs after Mountainkeeper demanded that they do that.

So, they did that; they went and they put together a Draft Supplemental, and issued it, and it was the most pathetic document, written by industry ... it was just horrible and frightening, and basically 18,000 comments later -- there was a public comment period, and comments from every grandmother in the Catskills, and scientists and hydrogeologists. So, Patterson at that point was pushing to release the Final before he left office. We were pretty sure he was going to drop the Final at the 11th hour, but for a couple of interesting reasons it didn't happen, and instead Cuomo took over and picked a great DEC commissioner, an environmentalist, a great environmentalist with a track record.

SA: And that's Joe Martens.

RA: Joseph Martens. And we said, "Hey, maybe we got lucky. Maybe Cuomo gets it. We know Martens gets it. So maybe we're moving down a path where you're going to see them take huge tracts of land off of the table, severely limit this industry in New York State, basically push them back until they can come back and prove that they can do it safely in the future." That's what we were starting to hope.

When they issued the second draft under Cuomo, we realized that, oh, no, it was worse; that we had a pro-fracking governor, and that they wanted to industrialize and frack the entire Catskills and Southern Tier, and sign it over -- 85% of the entire area open for fracking -- and no real protections. No hardball with this industry; they basically have given the whole state over, and you've got an ineffectual DEC -- no enforcement, no budget, no leadership. You've got a governor who has brought on people who are clearly pro-fracking as a senior staff, and he is probably running for president, and probably -- I can't speak for him -- but he probably feels he needs Big Oil and Gas, so he'll sacrifice the Catskills and the environment in order to have Big Oil and Gas support his run for president.

SA: You're advocating for a statewide ban. What are the next steps? And I'd also like to address, what will this mean?

RA: One thing that I've learned in this process is that there is always more to learn. It's a very complicated issue. There's the basic buzzwords -- "ban," "fracking," "frack you," all that fun stuff -- but it's a very complicated issue.

Today I learned something interesting on a phone call. We talk about the Marcellus Shale; they're actually after the Utica Shale as much or more than the Marcellus. The Utica is interesting because it sits all underneath the eastern Catskills -- Ulster County, all through Marbletown and Stone Ridge and Woodstock -- and all those communities are completely vulnerable, and they thought they were out of it ... and not all -- they're completely bulls-eyed, and that's something today I realized. And that's going to maybe change some of the dynamic, because those are important, beautiful, rich homes and people, and when they realize that it's not just their cousins and the hicks -- it's actually them, too -- that's important. The Catskill Park is open for drilling.

SA: And what does that mean? Because I think also we're talk about New York City, aren't we? This is the watershed for that region.

RA: People both in the industry and in government within the administration say, "Trust us. Trust us. Don't worry. We control the permits. We're not going to issue too many permits." And as soon as they say, "Trust us," you know you're in trouble because you cannot trust them. First of all, they won't be around in two years. There'll be some other guy running the DEC and the governor's office, so you can't trust anybody. And so, once they sort of open the floodgates to fracking here, this industry will roll over everybody, and we will turn the Catskills into an industrial landscape.

And with the best intentions of everybody at the DEC, everybody on the second floor in the governor's office thinking that they're in control -- they're not. Once they open the door, they'll never shut it again. And the next governor will be more beholden to the industry. The next DEC commissioner will be weaker. And the revolving door of people going from industry to the DEC and the DEC to industry will just start spinning faster.

So, I guess what I would urge the folks who are reading this and listening to this is to say -- you know, what we talked about earlier -- this is a democracy; this is America; this is a great time to be proud to be an American -- stand up for your rights and go and effect change. Don't be afraid. These are bullies, this industry. They use dirty tactics. They use them against Mountainkeeper; they use them against me; they'll use them against you, but do not be afraid. Stand up for your rights and do not let Andrew Cuomo or Barack Obama or Halliburton or Exxon or any of them make you think that you can't stand up and protect your family, your community, your home, cause you can -- you just have to do it.

SA: And Ramsay, this is what you're really talking about when you're also talking about the environment, is our connection to it, aren't you? And what that means for community, for home, for family, for our connections to each other, and to the planet. I really want to share why you are leading Catskill Mountainkeeper and why the environment is so important to the way we can live.

RA: You know, there's a cycle to the tragedies that happen. It's sort of a standard psychology course thing, and I won't get it totally right, but basically you find out about something and it's almost like excitement -- you're all excited. And then when you start to realize what that means, you get scared. And then after you sort of get scared, you fall into despair because you feel like there's nothing you can do about it. And then you slowly wake up from that despair and say, "Well, I'm going to fight." And people with illnesses, it's a common cycle that you go through, and it's the same thing that happens with when you find out about fracking.

And that's the cycle that people go through; it's the cycle that Mountainkeeper went through, and we are out of despair and into the fight, and that is really powerful because you say, "I'm not going to sell my home and move away; I'm not going to close my doors and give up; I'm going to stand and fight," and I get a lot of phone calls from people saying, "I can't deal with this; I'm going to sell my land before it's too late and get out of here." My answer to them is, "Stand and fight with the rest of us, 'cause we can win."

SA: So, Ramsay, I know that you collaborate and work with so many other groups throughout the state, and I am wondering if you can talk to us about that.

RA: Sure. The interesting thing about this issue -- and I'm sure it's the same in other parts of the world where you have these kinds of catastrophic environmental problems that are imminent -- is that people come together in a way that's quite beautiful from across the spectrum. So, from across the Catskills and across New York State, Mountainkeeper has teamed up and allied with individuals and groups, and it's really become this incredible coalition collaborative effort to stop fracking. And when Mountainkeeper first heard about gas drilling, there was the Damascus Citizens, a sort of loose group of crazy anti-frackers from Pennsylvania who we knew about, and that was it. There was nobody else; it was just them.

And then, the Catskill Citizens formed a while later as a citizens group with no paid staff, just organized to fight fracking. And then you saw Shale Shock up in Ithaca form, because Ithaca and Cornell -- that's all prime fracking country. And then you saw the CDOG and some of the Chenango-Delaware folks organizing as grassroots groups.

And then the sort of big environmental groups burst onto the scene after they realized what was happening -- the Natural Resources Defense Council and Earth Justice and Environmental Advocates. Then some of the national advocacy groups like United for Action and Common Cause get involved. And then you had some more grassroots groups like Frack Action start up, so you just had this sort of incredible birthing of people saying, "I'm going to take control of my own destiny," and Mountainkeeper's just embraced all of those organizations, supported them in every way we can.

You know, they are essential to winning this fight. It's a little like when you think about modern warfare. You know how you beat a big army? With lots of little pods fighting that are loosely affiliated -- that are sort of communicating, but not really. They're just out there fighting, and that's what we've got going here in New York, and it's pretty incredible.

The other thing about this industry is that they put this lie out there that natural gas is clean; it's a domestic fuel source -- for national security it's important; it's cheap; it's abundant. So you had five -- and I mentioned earlier that I was going to come back. I want to sort of hit those real fast.

So, "Is natural gas clean?" No. It is clean when you burn it; it's cleaner than burnt coal; less carbon emissions. But fracked gas requires an enormous amount of energy to extract. All the truck traffic; all the diesel generation; all the chemicals. When you look at the full life cycle of that, and transporting it, studies by various significant folks show that it's as dirty as dirty coal. So, now everybody's looking at the full life cycle of natural gas, but that lie has been called out. So, it's not clean; it's not a climate-solving fuel.

Two -- national security. Will this somehow relieve us of our dependence on foreign oil from the Muslim nations that hate us? No, it won't. In fact, we're going to export most of this to Japan and China and other places. And so, it's just not true that this will change the dynamic at all when it comes to the geopolitics of oil. That's just a lie. And OPEC and ExxonMobil ... ExxonMobil's the biggest operator here in the natural gas play here in New York State. They are the biggest company operating here, and they are the same biggest evil company that has us addicted to their other fossil fuels. So, it's a total lie.

So, it won't make us safer.

And then, is it cheap? Is it this cheap resource because it's in our backyard? No, it's not cheap. We subsidize this industry enormously in order to provide this cheap gas, so we're paying for it out of our own taxes to subsidize this rich industry to do this, and there's a glut of natural gas on the market right now. So, it's not even profitable. So, the whole economics of natural gas are so bad that the New York Times did a major investigation into it, and I urge everyone to read it, by Ian Urbina, who looked at the economics. And it's essentially a Ponzi scheme and that it's a house of cards that will fall down. He literally called it a "criminal Ponzi scheme." This is the New York Times; it's been vetted by all the senior editors.

So you've got the economics are bad; it's not a clean climate fuel; it's not going to solve our environmental climate crisis at all. So really, it's just a bridge fuel to profit for ExxonMobil and Halliburton. That's all it is. And as long as we all accept that and that's what this is about, fine. But those lies have to be called out, and let's just say, do we want to give our land over to ExxonMobil so they can make a bunch of money? If that's the decision, great. But all these other reasons that it supposedly such a great thing are not true.

Sabrina Artel is the creator and host of Trailer Talk, a weekly radio show that engages the community through conversations about culture, politics, the arts and the environment. To find out more about Trailer Talk's Frack Talk Marcellus Shale Water Project visit Trailer Talk.