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Four Lessons from the U.S. for Countries About to Be Fracked

For related articles and more information, please visit OCA's Environment and Climate Resource Center page.

The U.S. has blessed the world with many wondrous things. Atomic bombs and peanut butter. Assembly lines and CocaCola. And now there is another American invention posed to spread past our borders and into your water supply: Fracking. Fracking is a technique used by the oil industry to blast apart underground shale rock layers using liquids at high pressure. The process has allowed the oil and gas industry to reach deposits of fossil fuels that were previously unreachable, and has ignited a massive increase in drilling in the U.S. It has also exposed and exacerbated the problems of fossil fuel exploitation, from pollution and environmental degradation to the social ills associated with an economy based on resource extraction. Here are some lessons we in the U.S. have learned about fracking and the companies that frack us.

An oil company moves into a small village. Soon pollution and poor treatment of the town's resources by the oil corporation cause widespread outrage. To quell dissent, the oil company employs ex-soldiers and military tactics. Most Americans have the hubris to think that this would only happen in places like Indonesia and Niger-but this is the story of rural Pennsylvania, where Range Resources hired military personnel to conduct Psychological Operations, or Psyops, on Pennsylvanians opposed to drilling and fracking. One fracking executive even referred to people opposed to drilling as an "insurgency," and recommended that other fracking companies read the Army and Marine Corps counterinsurgency manual.

Fracking companies are also fighting to nullify and prevent local fracking bans. In response to the dangers of drilling, communities above the oil and gas fields have begun to vote on and pass local bans on fracking. The fracking industry has fought back with lawsuits and political pressure, seeking to overturn the democratically voted-on resolutions.  


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