Thursday, May 29, 2014

The Frackers Will Gag You After They Poison Your Wells

On the day that the NC House passed the fracking bill, climaxing the absolute pell-mell rush to bring hydraulic fracturing to North Carolina and thus endanger the drinking water of generations for a bunch of money, I thought readers might like to know what's becoming the standard in civil judgments against fracking companies.

Frackers poison wells? Frackers have to pay off the landowners. But when crackers pay off the landowners, the landowners are being forced to sign a gag rule. They cannot talk about what the frackers did to them. Forever.

And now there's a new wrinkle: lest the children of damaged property owners might blurt out in school to other children what happened on their land, the children are gagged from speaking about fracking for the rest of their lives.

I shit you not:
When drilling company Range Resources offered the Hallowich family a $750,000 settlement to relocate from their fracking-polluted home in Washington County, Pennsylvania, it came with a common restriction. Chris and Stephanie Hallowich would be forbidden from ever speaking about fracking or the Marcellus Shale. But one element of the gag order was all new. The Hallowichs’ two young children, ages 7 and 10, would be subject to the same restrictions, banned from speaking about their family’s experience for the rest of their lives.
The Hallowich family’s gag order is only the most extreme example of a tactic that critics say effectively silences anyone hurt by fracking. It’s a choice between receiving compensation for damage done to one’s health and property, or publicizing the abuses that caused the harm. Virtually no one can forgo compensation, so their stories go untold.... (Think Progress)
That's what's ahead for us, North Carolina, or some facsimile of that. Does that sound like fairness to you? Does that sound like justice to you? Does that sound like Dan Soucek and Jonathan Jordan just mortgaged our futures for a few lousy bucks or a pat on their backs from their corporate overlords?


Anonymous said...

You should be fined for every lie you put forward.

Meatcamp said...

How is it legal for children to be bound by a contract they had no part in making? That sounds like slavery. Is there an age limit?

Anonymous said...

Why not pay the fracking companies to
destroy our land and pollute our water? Oops, don't give the Republicans any ideas.
This is the worst fracking bill in the U.S.
No local control, private property may be taken against the owner's wishes, no transparent disclosure of fracking chemicals and no regulations for toxic waste water.

Meatcamp said...

The role of US government has traditionally been to protect the rights of minorities and workers against rapacious, greedy, or bigoted buzzards. No wonder these Republicans want to do away with government. They ARE the rapacious, greedy, bigoted buzzards.

Anonymous said...

I've always been told you have to been in Watauga County for at least five generations to be accepted here. How ironic that Soucek and Jordan, both outsiders who have lived in the region for such a short time, are so busy ruining everything for the rest of us.