Bad Gas Not Normally This Much of A Problem | THE POLITICUS

Bad Gas Not Normally This Much of A Problem

Its March 18th, do you know where your podcast is? On this date in history back in1937, 298 school children experienced the worst gas of their lives, and not the kind that would provide their schoolmates with smirks, giggles, and sour smells. Their school, Consolidated School of New London Texas, had been built in 1930 and was in the middle of massive oil and gas fields and many of the nearly 1,200 students were sons and daughters of energy workers. The gas that troubled the school on that day was natural gas, there was an explosion, and those 298 students were killed, many of them instantly. This astonishing disaster was investigated thoroughly; findings revealed that raw gas escaping from leaking lines had accumulated in the dead space between the foundation and basement floor. The gas expanded due to a drop in barometric pressure and an electric spark from a switch in the manual training shop had triggered the explosion. It has been reported by (caveat emptor) and others, that a cryptic message was found on a blackboard in the rubble, “Oil and Natural gas are East Texas’ greatest natural gifts. Without them this school would not be here and none of us would be here learning our lessons.” By that reasoning I guess one could say that without our blood thirst for these “natural gifts” then those children would have enjoyed a much longer and more fruitful life. This “accident”, in the same sense that eating and texting while driving drunk is an accident, should help us keep some things in perspective.

Enter Chesapeake Energy and their subsidiaries - and their equally bad gas - to provide some context to the perspective. Their website states “Chesapeake Energy Corporation is the second-largest producer of natural gas, the 11th largest producer of oil and natural gas liquids and the most active driller of new wells in the U.S. Headquartered in Oklahoma City, the company's operations are focused on discovering and developing unconventional natural gas and oil fields onshore in the U.S.” And how do they go about this? By using influence in the government to circumvent owners of land who have refused to let them drill, by creating injection wells (look in to the Hydro Fracturing process) that have caused minor earthquakes in areas of Texas that previously did not commonly experience tremors, by allegedly attempting to fix prices of leased land in Michigan, by contaminating groundwater to the point of fire spouting from some Midwestern water faucets, by cheating shareholders, and by paying only 1 percent taxes on nearly $5.5 BILLION of pretax profits over the company’s 23-year history. Take a deep breath (not too deep in you live in Fresno or Bakersfield) and think about the ramifications of allowing companies like Chesapeake to flourish.

Even while researching this piece on the web (dubious we know) we are confronted by a BP ad featuring serene natural scenes of human beings enjoying nature, which they are say they are committed to preserving. This is like a captor being committed to preserving the life of a prisoner for the purpose of repeatedly raping the unfortunate captive, and doing it with a smile. Dow Chemical Company has a similar ad campaign about the “Human Element” their company “emphasizes”. In the interest of preserving the environment and helping America with its energy independence problem, many energy companies are attempting to open California up to Hydro Fracturing. Geography lesson: California has active fault lines that make the shaking faults of Texas look like child’s play. Energy companies will demonize environmentalists, spend massive amounts of money in the political structure of both parties, dupe the largely ignorant public, and start fracking in California. When the massive earthquake hits they will back off, deflect, blame others, and cry “How could we have known?” Well they know. They know all too well, and so should we.

How can we know? Clicking on the link below and listening to Upside Downtrodden is a great place to start! If you can’t listen to our ranting and rambling, at least listen to a great philosopher whose treatise called The Social Contract heavily influenced the founders of this country. Jean-Jacques Rousseau once said “The first person who, having enclosed a plot of land, took it into his head to say this is mine and found people simple enough to believe him was the true founder of civil society. What crimes, wars, murders, what miseries and horrors would the human race have been spared, had some one pulled up the stakes or filled in the ditch and cried out to his fellow men: "Do not listen to this imposter. You are lost if you forget that the fruits of the earth belong to all and the earth to no one!” We couldn’t have said it better if we tried; but that won’t stop us from trying! Join the fight!