It simply wouldn’t be an election year in the United States without the fictitious “war on coal” talking point rearing its ugly head. But something is different this year. In years past, the “war on coal” was admittedly fake, but today we really do have presidential candidates who have expressed interest in making the industry a thing of the past, and those quotes are being used as a catalyst to rally voters in coal-dependent states like West Virginia and Kentucky.
A newly published peer-reviewed study concludes that air pollution from fracking puts people's lungs, hearts, and immune systems at risk – and that the health risks are particularly pointed for young children and infants.
The study — the first to specifically focus on how shale oil and gas drilling affects children ability to breathe — concludes that starting in the womb, children's developing respiratory systems are particularly at risk from five airborne pollutants associated with fracking and drilling.
As Bernie Sanders attempts an upset in New York’s April 19th primary, he has begun to increase his focus on the issues of fracking and climate change.
And since the state of New York banned fracking in 2015 and a recent Gallup poll reports only 25% of Democrats nationwide support fracking this would appear to be smart politics.
In his second of three rallies across New York on April 11th, Sanders took the time to address the issue and highlight the major differences on the issue between himself and Secretary Clinton for the audience in Albany. With the number of anti-fracking signs in the building, the strong response to the message was not surprising.
Sanders introduced the topic noting that when it came to fracking he and Clinton have “some very significant differences” and then congratulated the people of New York for standing up to the fossil fuel industry to ban fracking.
A new study from Stanford has confirmed that fracking operations are contaminating drinking water sources in Wyoming.
“This is a wake-up call,” said lead author Dominic DiGiulio, a visiting scholar at Stanford School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences. “It's perfectly legal to inject stimulation fluids into underground drinking water resources. This may be causing widespread impacts on drinking water resources.”
Of course this comes soon after a Pennsylvania jury awarded $4.24 million to two families in Dimock, PA who sued Cabot Oil for contaminating their drinking water via fracking operations. And a new study that has found fracking — and not just frack waste injection — is causing earthquakes in Canada.
Reuters recently reported that Environmental Protection Agency chief Gina McCarthy revealed that, “Methane emissions from existing sources in the oil and gas sector are substantially higher than we previously understood.”
So, it shouldn’t be too surprising that a new poll from Gallup finds that opposition to fracking among the American public has increased in the past year and now a majority of Americans oppose fracking.
We are now officially through half of the United States Presidential election primary and caucus season, and there are currently 5 contenders left in the Republican and Democratic parties vying for their party’s respective nomination. Delegate math shows that Governor John Kasich has no chance to become the Republican nominee, so we’re left with four real candidates to examine.
The differences between the candidates of the two major parties could not be greater. On the Democratic side, there are two candidates who proudly embrace science and agree that action on climate issues is sorely needed. On the Republican side, both of the remaining candidates reject the scientific consensus and instead argue that climate change is nothing more than a series of unfortunate weather events.
It is important to remember that acceptance of climate science is not necessarily limited to one political party. Recent polls show that majorities of voters within both the Democratic and Republican parties (as well as Independent voters) accept that climate change is real and that human activity is a contributing factor. The discrepancy between the desires of voters and the views of the candidates can best be seen in the contributions from the fossil fuel industry, which will be described in detail later.
As for the candidates remaining in the race, only Republican frontrunner Donald Trump lacks a record to verify his statements on climate change. But judging on his statements alone, he will not be a friend to the environment if he secures the nomination and subsequently wins the White House.
Republican front-runner Donald Trump and Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders made their positions on fracking clear last weekend. Trump is all for it. Clinton too, but only if a list of conditions met. Sanders is against it.
Trump brought up fracking on Friday at a New Orleans campaign rally. “New York has been let down, they didn’t allow them to frack,” Trump said. “If they fracked in New York, New York would lower its taxes, would have no debt, would have made a fortune. Instead Pennsylvania took all their money.”
Praising Pennsylvania, Trump said, “They took those beautiful, beautiful natural resources. They took ‘em out.” He failed to mention hundreds of reports of water contaminated by the Pennsylvania fracking industry.
As the February 1 Iowa Caucuses loom, the Hawkeye State sits as the proverbial last man standing in the decision whether to grant pipeline giant Energy Transfer Partners (ETP) a permit for its Dakota Access pipeline.
Slated to carry upwards of 570,000 barrels per day of oil obtained via hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) from North Dakota's Bakken Shale basin, the pipeline would cut diagonally across Iowa. In recent weeks, ETP has obtained necessary permits from North Dakota, South Dakota and Illinois.
Will the Hawkeye State say yes to the fossil fuel project, or play its part to #KeepItInTheGround and protect its prized agricultural lands from a spill?
During Saturday’s U.S. Presidential debate, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders addressed the issue of terrorism by saying that climate change is the largest national security threat. This is the second time that Sanders has made this statement during the Democratic debates.
And he is spot on with his analysis.
The reasoning is simple: Resource scarcity leads to conflict.
“I hear that you have somewhat of an oil industry here,” said Bernie Sanders, Democratic candidate for President, drawing laughter from the crowd of 4,500 at the Pontchartrain Center in Kenner, Louisiana on Sunday evening.
The audience whistled and cheered when Sanders said we need to end our dependence on fossil fuels. He acknowledged the transition would be painful for some, and that those economically impacted by the loss of jobs must be taken care of. But in no uncertain terms he said it was America’s moral obligation to lead the world in saving this planet from the ravages of climate change.
As the national average for gas prices pushes closer and closer towards $4 a gallon, Republicans have wasted no time in attempting to convince the public that President Obama and his “hostility” towards the oil industry is the reason we’re feeling the squeeze at the pump.
Fox News recently leant space on their website to let Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus feed debunked talking points to Fox readers in an error-filled op-ed: