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Kids Speak Up On Fracking

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View Kathleen Sutcliffe's blog posts
08 August 2013, 5:43 PM
The oil and gas industry's worst nightmare, apparently
A Pennsylvania family's spring became flammable after a Marcellus well was drilled on their property. (© J.B.Pribanic)

A while back, I was invited to a D.C. elementary school to watch 5th graders deliver a presentation about drinking water.

These students were proposing a “Water Bill of Rights” stating that people have the right to know what’s in their groundwater and that it’s safe to drink. Sounds like a good idea to me.

One group of students had done a special project—on fracking. After considering both sides of the issue, and learning that the chemicals used in fracking are often secret, many of the students decided it wasn’t a good idea. Afterwards, I asked them to tell me—in their own words—why they felt that way.

Here’s what they said:

I was reminded of that day when news of the fracking industry’s attempt to silence a 7- and 10-year-old sister and brother with a gag order went worldwide.

For those who missed my earlier post: After a fracking operation popped up next door to their home in Pennsylvania, Stephanie and Chris Hallowich and their two children started getting bloody noses, sore throats and headaches. They sued the companies operating next door and the companies agreed to settle the lawsuit on one condition: Stephanie and Chris could never speak out about fracking again. Then the companies went one step further. Their attorney told a judge (in a transcript released last week) that Stephanie and Chris’ 7- and 10-year-old daughter and son would also have to remain silent about fracking. For the rest of their lives.

It’s perhaps the most egregious example of an industry-wide campaign to silence its critics. Oil and gas companies force their victims to sign non-disclosure agreements; the people most impacted by fracking must sacrifice their right to speak out in order to escape from harm.

Which means that those of us who still can speak out, must.

Fracking is bad, m'Kay? Really bad. Just say "no", kids.

Clearly, there is only one thing to do and that is to criminalized Fracking and put the criminals in jail and shut down the killing fields forever.

Since, fracking is currently legal and has a right to pollute and poison the land, air and water because of the exemptions they were given by the Halliburton Loophole, to the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Clean Drinking Water Act, Environmental Policy Act, Superfund Act, and since they have a right as a 'person' to earn blood money raping and pillaging our life support systems that is our water and air they have every legal right, the law on their side if you will, and we have no recourse or way to stop the injustice, corruption, insanity, so it would seem.

I think it would behoove us all to ask the simple question where are our rights? What rights do we have to clean water, clean air, clean drinking water? I think you will all be shocked to know we really don't have any rights to these things. That there is no law on the books that gives us a right to life which only water can provide is why Frackers are able to do what they do with such precision and finality.

Water is life and a universal fundamental unalienable right of all living beings. Unalienable rights can not be traded, bartered, brought, sold, regulated, comprised given or taken away. Laws based on rights are based on the principles of the moral imperative and in order for them to be upheld and wrongdoers prosecuted the right MUST be defined and put into words. Our Bill of Rights is based on the principles that " all men are created equal and have a right to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness.

The first Amendment, as an example, defines the unalienable right of all beings to be free from any laws that would prohibit respecting an establishment of religion, impeding the free exercise of religion, abridging the freedom of speech, infringing on the freedom of the press, interfering with the right to peaceably assemble or prohibiting the petitioning for a governmental redress of grievances. That there are currently numerous infringements and violations to the first Amendment does not diminish the fact that these rights exist and proves the point that in order for a right to be violated or infringed upon it must exist.

That the Oil Industry has been granted permission by our own government to infringe, trespass, violate our right to a safe, clean healthy environment is a gross miscarriage of justice in and of itself and which we recognize simply as corruption. We are not dumb. We know when we are being violated and we know the difference between right and wrong. What does a law abiding society do when our own lawmakers and law enforcement agencies break the law?

This is an age old question that every new born law abiding society is always faced with. The Declaration of Independence, Constitution and Bill of Rights was our response. It's not perfect, god knows, but at the time it was a revolutionary idea whose time had come.

The answer to, "What do we do now about Fracking?" We do what our Founding Mothers and Fathers did. We take the principles on which we were founded and recognize one by one those unalienable rights we are all born with and make it a law. This is a little longer than the first Amendment but absolutely the same principle. This is a city ordinance in the works that any city can do and in fact over 150 in the US have done. Community Bill of Rights is what we do to stop Fracking. And it has stopped the harm and frackers in every single case.

It is just silly don't you think to even consider going to the problem makers and asking them to solve our problem? The lawmakers, ALEC,the regulatory agencies EPA, FDA are the problem and are the corruption of our principles. Asking them for help, or to do the right thing for us is just silly.

A rights based law written for, by and of the people is a legal, lawful, procedure in every community in the United States. So, we don't actually have to have a bloody revolution in order to get these rights on the books. We do however, have to have some guts, foresight and determination to insure our kids and our kids, kid have their right to a healthy, safe, secure, prosper and abundant environment that they can talk about freely and openly to their kids.

Here's a sample of some gutsy lawmaking. We are collecting signatures to get this on a ballot and put it into law. You get the idea. I am a mom, with nothing more than determination to my credit and if I can do it anyone can.

A right to clean water is an unalienable right all living beings are born with. We have a right to be free from toxic, chemical trespass.

Right to Clean Water. All residents, natural communities and ecosystems in _____________ possess a fundamental and unalienable right to sustainably access, use, consume, and preserve clean water drawn from natural water cycles.
(b) Right to Self. All residents of _____________ possess a fundamental and unalienable right to the integrity of their bodies, and to be free from involuntary invasions of their bodies by any means, including but not limited to trespass by fracking byproducts, as defined within this ordinance.
(c) Right to be Free from Chemical Trespass. All residents, natural communities and ecosystems in _____________ possess a fundamental and unalienable right to be free from involuntary chemical trespass by any means, including but not limited to, trespass by fracking byproducts, as defined within this ordinance.
Rights of Natural Communities. Natural communities and ecosystems, including, but not limited to, wetlands, streams, rivers, aquifers, and other water systems, possess unalienable and fundamental rights to exist and flourish within _____________. Residents of the City, along with the municipality, shall possess legal standing to enforce those rights on behalf of those natural communities and ecosystems.

(a) It shall be unlawful for a corporation to engage in fracking or to engage in the disposal of fracking byproducts.
(b) It shall be unlawful for a corporation to extract water from any source for use in fracking or for the disposal of fracking byproducts.
(c) Corporations engaging in fracking or disposal of fracking byproducts in a neighboring municipality, county or state shall be strictly liable for all harms caused to natural water sources, ecosystems, human and natural communities within _____________. (d) No permit, license, privilege, charter, or other authority issued by any State or federal entity which would violate the prohibitions of this Ordinance or deprive any Town resident of any rights secured by this Ordinance, the California Constitution, the United States Constitution, or
other laws, shall be deemed valid within the City of _____________.

Right to clean Water. Prohibitions against just like the first amendment. That's what I am talking about criminalizing Fracking. We got them to dead to rights too. And then just one last thing that is really good to know. Unalienable rights trump corporate rights. Doesn't necessary mean it is going to be easy. Frackers are going to pull every trick in the books to get around this but that is absolutely no reason not to do it. In fact they haven't found away around it yet and just had to abandon or be prosecuted where ever these laws are in effect.

Our city in Oneonta, NY is fighting the Constitution pipeline and compresore stations being approved by FERC to send FRACKED natural gas from Pa. north into NYS. It will run thousands of miles through many New York counties. In the process many species we share Earth with will be pushed to extinction.


I just heard a report on N.P.R. about how the Amish are selling their drilling rights to Oil & Gas for fracking. A farmer who made 40 G. a yr. now get's 80 Grand in one month! The temptation is too much, and it's spreading. Think of all the water they can buy once the water table is destroyed! Think of all the children they can create once their kids die off from the disease that comes from the chemicals that poison. Gods will, after all. Corruption is corruption.

This recent case of muzzling kids seems like straight up extortion. The family gets a choice between agreeing to it and getting some money to move to a safe place, or they stay there and get sicker. Where the heck is the state government in this mess? I know that the PA govt (I am a PA native) is pretty corrupt when it comes to this type thing, but the residents need to stand up and elect people who will protect the state, not destroy it.

I live in Washington County where fracking is well underway. For several years, I have driven along back country roads on my way to the farm where I board my horse. I have seen small tanker trucks (with company logos painted over) quietly discharging chemicals into streams that run along the roads. This is one of the ways that the toxic fracking chemicals is being dealt with. There are reports among other horse lovers in this area that livestock have died on some Washington County farms already. One farm owner reported that an entire litter of newborn puppies being born was horribly deformed.

Residents are being told how much money they can earn by selling their gas and oil rights to the Fracking companies...and indeed farmers are growing rich here. But what is the cost to all of us, to the animals and to the earth?

What can we do to stop this discharge of toxic chemicals into our water?

Anyone wanting their own proof of the dangers of a frack site, can go to where a site is being drilled and then find a small stream nearby. The smaller the better because the concentrated chemicals will be more noticable, ( there will always be one, because it comes mainly from the site). To find the stream nearby go downward, (ex) down a dirt road to the bottom, or at the base of where the frack site is situated. Once you find the stream, whether it is a natural stream or not, take a big sniff, as you near the water, and you will notice that the closer you get the stronger the kerosene like smell will become, and other chemicals will actually stand out to your nose if you know what the chemicals smell like.
In Waynesburg Pa. on strope road, the company that drilled the site, also built a drainage ditch across the road to the nearby creek, So my guess is that their waste is being dumped in the creek.

talk about corporate greed

talk about corporate greed

I doubt that the judge's decision to silence the children would stand up to the US Supreme Court. No one can sign a minor child's right to free speech away under the United States Constitution. I certainly hope that the ACLU steps in and fights this one.

The traitor judge needs silenced.... permanently.
A quick trial and a brutal execution... be amazed how fast fracking would end. Those that want to destroy America with greed are traitors and need to have their trial and a bullet in the head.

if they don't carea about children who do they care about?

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