April 23, 2012
This is a guest post by Priscilla Stuckey, a finalist in the TckTckTck Rio Blogger Prize competition. If you would like to see this entrant as the official TckTckTck blogger at Rio+20 this June, please help spread the word by sharing this post on your social networks.
My friend in the next county lives near a gas well. It’s a fracking well, where millions of gallons of toxic liquid are pumped a mile underground under high pressure to crack shale and extract methane. Her county holds 18,000 oil and gas wells, and her town of Erie, Colorado, once a peaceful village with panoramic views of the Rocky Mountains, now has more methane in its air than Houston, Texas, with its oil industry.
My friend’s son asked her recently, “Why are they doing this to us?”
What can she say? That corporations don’t care they are poisoning the air and water and causingearthquakes? That local governments won’t protect their citizens?
Thomas Linzey is an attorney who thinks the problem goes far deeper:
Local people don’t have the power to say no
Current law elevates the rights of corporations over those of local people. “Under our present system,” hesays, “it is perfectly legal for a small number of people within a corporation to override whole communities.”