Thanks to Lauren Steiner for this report. Make sure to read down to the bottom, where she gets to “ask a question.” Congratulations to Lauren for pulling a good trick on them. And remember, not only is the enemy organizing to keep destroying our environment, turning the very air we breathe and water we drink into poison, they are doing the same as far as poverty wages, racism, sexism, you name it. It’s all part of the same struggle.
So I was sitting at my kitchen table at 5 pm tonight about to prepare dinner when the phone rang. It was a robocall from Energy Citizens, an astroturf group of Big Oil, inviting me to be on a nationwide call with an expert from the American Petroleum Institute talking about the new ozone standards the EPA was going to implement. If I wanted to be on the call, I just had to hang on. So I did.
The guy gave this whole presentation about how the Clean Air Act requires that EPA implement these regulations, but they are totally unnecessary, because emissions are down 20% due to our wonderful natural gas production. He said a couple of regions are not meeting the current standard of 75 ppb, which covers 95% of the population.
He then said that the National Economic Resource Association, or NERA, did a study for the National Association of Manufacturers that said these new rules could reduce GDP by $250 billion per year and cost jobs for 3 million Americans. This would amount to a cost of $370 per household per year.
He concluded by saying these regulations were “hostile to much of economic and human activity” and that we should send comments to the EPA saying:
1. The new ozone standards are not needed. The current ones are working fine.
2. We shouldn’t change the standards until the current standards have been met.
3. It could be catastrophic to building and families and cause the economy to nosedive and people to lose their jobs.
He answered a lot of questions basically saying ridiculous things like NOX and VOCs are caused by natural sources, that correlation does not mean causation, etc. etc.
So I pushed Star 3 to ask a question. When the pre-screener got to me, I said I was from Southern California and wanted to ask a question about why our area was not in compliance and what we could do about it.
But when I got on, I asked the guy if he knew that NOX and VOCs were a by product of flaring of natural gas from fracking and that Vintage Oil released 5 metric tons of NOX and two metric tons of VOCs into the environment in 2011 and was only fined $750.
They cut me off by asking what was my question. So I asked him if he was aware of the five state peer reviewed study published in Environmental Health on Oct. 30 that showed severe health effects of people living near oil and gas wells and that 40% of the air samples contained benzene and formaldehyde and other toxic substances found to be hazardous to human health. He started to talk about jobs, and I answered what good are jobs if people are getting sick. But at that point I could see they had turned off my mic.
Boy, that felt good. But the takeaway is, the enemy is organizing and we need to be too.