Hydrofracking and our responsibility

Staff Writer
The Chronicle Express

The gas companies and politicians that favor hydrofracking like to claim that this destructive process is necessary for us to endure for the sake of our country’s domestic energy.

What they don’t like to admit is that there is already such a glut of natural gas that the companies are almost as busy storing the gas as they are producing it.

Is this because they are so concerned about future generations of Americans having ample energy?

Of course not. It’s because the price of gas has been driven down by the oversupply, and the companies are speculating that the price will rise again and increase their profits.

Hydrofracking has nothing to do with patriotism. It has everything to do with international banking and corporate profits. If you have any doubts, just take note of the giant oil and gas corporations that are now sucking up the small and medium size gas producers all around the country.

In 2010, for instance, Chevron and Exxon-Mobil bought out Atlas and XTO Energy for $2.3 billion and $41 billion, respectively. Chesapeake sold 25% of its Texas Barnett Shale assets to Total for $2.25 billion to give it more cash to invest in the Marcellus Shale. Norse Energy leased 180,000 net acres in New York State, with its big, midnight-sun eyes on our Utica Shale.

Never mind that Shell is “Dutch-based,” Total “French,” Norse “Norwegian,” or that Exxon-Mobil, Chevron and Chesapeake are supposedly “American.” These are all international mega-corporations, none of them in the least concerned with our future generations. Their only concern is where and how to maximize their profits.

These corporations don’t see Texas gas as belonging to Texas or New York gas as belonging to New York any more than they see Saudi, Iraqi or Nigerian oil as belonging to the people of those countries. Such resources are all on the world mmarket and aimed at the highest bidder.

In May of this year, when Houston-based Cheniere Energy announced its plans to ship almost a trillion cubic feet of gas a year from Texas and Louisiana ports to Europe and Asia, its stock rose 31 percent — overnight! On the east coast, Dominion Resources is planning to export Marcellus shale gas from its port at Cove Point, Maryland to Europe.

But don’t worry, when the U.S. price gets high enough, our gas will stay home. The real worry and responsibility should be for our future generations. Will this region we love still be a decent home for them, too?

Steve Coffman