EARTHblog » Pete Dronkers
June 11, 2014
Most people think that National Parks and UNESCO World Heritage sites would be buffered from industrial extraction like fracking for oil. But during the last two weeks of May, we all began to think again.
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is writing a new management plan for a multi-million acre swatch of public lands in northwestern New Mexico. Contained within this area is the treasured Chaco Canyon National Historic Park. One of less than a dozen UNESCO sites in the western states, it includes the ruins of what were the largest buildings in North America 1,000 years ago.
March 4, 2014
The recent news about Exxon-Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson’s participation in a lawsuit against the construction of a large water tower near his home and ranch in Texas was extraordinarily symbolic, and could help combat the rhetoric being thrown at opponents of fracking, who are often cast away by industry as being unreasonable “NIMBY’s”: Not In My Back Yard.
The 16-story tower would – among other uses – provide water for fracking operations in the area. It would be a large, unsightly industrial installation, similar in some respects to the thousands of 16 story high Exxon-commissioned drill rigs and heavy machinery towering above neighborhoods and ranches throughout the country. The difference is that the proposed water tank would sit quietly nearby in years to come – a stark contrast to noisy fracking sites that emit hazardous air pollution and sometimes contaminate drinking water.