The Curmudgeon


Monday, August 05, 2013

Silent Spring

We all know, because people of the calibre of George Osborne have told us, that shale fracking is harmless, and that the companies whose business it is to cause explosions amid underground reservoirs and methane pockets are scrupulous to the point of profitability in their concern for health and safety. To prove the point, Range Resources, an oil and gas drilling company, reached a legal accommodation two years ago with the Hallowich family of Mount Pleasant, Pennsylvania. Since the Hallowich family had not, as they claimed, suffered water contamination, burning eyes, sore throats and headaches, or indeed any harm at all as a result of local fracking operations, Range Resources paid them three-quarters of a million dollars and ordered them not to talk about fracking. This order also applied to the Hallowich children, then aged ten and seven; and it applied for the rest of their lives. The father did point out to the court that it might be difficult to ensure absolute compliance with the juvenile inclusivity clause; but presumably Barack Obama's surveillance state will henceforth be at the disposal of Range Resources, together with a couple of surgical drones for any necessary discretionary enforcement.

The company itself, besides claiming that the payout took place purely because there was no evidence of any ill effects on the Hallowich family, has now decided to disagree with its own lawyer and say that the settlement does not apply to the children. The Pittsburgh Post Gazette, which appears to be in the throes of a thoroughly unfashionable attack of investigative journalism, has been fighting to get the relevant documents released; doubtless because Range Resources, like all other fracking companies, has nothing at all to hide.


  • At 10:16 pm , Anonymous Madame X said...

    Part of Snowden's revelations is the extent to which the national security state is handing off information on environmentalists, especially the anti-fracking community over to private enterprise. They haven't been advancing this notion of "ecoterrorists" for decades for nothing.


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