A Public Sphere for Poetry, Nature, and Politics
News that Hillary Clinton has selected Ken Salazar to head her transition team should give pause to anyone who believes Hillary’s claim that she’s a “Progressive.” Assuming Hillary wins the presidency, Salazar will chair the team that helps her to fill more than 4000 appointments.
What do we know about Salazar? According to a report at The Intercept,
“As a senator, Salazar was widely considered a reliable friend to the oil, gas, ranching and mining industries. As interior secretary, he opened the Arctic Ocean for oil drilling, and oversaw the botched response to the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Since returning to the private sector, he has been an ardent supporter of the TPP, while pushing back against curbs on fracking….
“We know that, from everything we’ve seen, there’s not a single case where hydraulic fracking has created an environmental problem for anyone,” Salazar told the attendees, who included the vice president of BP America, another keynote speaker at the conference. “We need to make sure that story is told.”
Really, Mr. Salazar? I lived in Pennsylvania for nine years, during the height of the fracking boom. A friend of mine lost his family farm and land due to poisoned water caused by fracking. Earthquakes have been traced to fracking. Methane seepage and burn-off contribute to global warming. Fracking chemicals are highly toxic and wastewater from fracking is radioactive. And these are just a few of the dangers associated with fracking.
It’s one thing to argue that fracking is hazardous but that those hazards can be controlled through rigorous practices that emphasize environmental safety. It’s a defensible position, though I believe the hazards are not fully known, therefore they can’t be fully controlled, let alone minimized. But Salazar is arguing fracking has not caused a single environmental problem! For anyone!
Yes, Hillary now claims she’s against fracking (when she led the State Department, she was strongly for it). But how does that flip-flop square with her decision to appoint yet another earth wrecker to a key position in her government-to-be? Just what the planet needs: a pro-fracking, pro-industry, corporate shill who will help to ensure that people like himself will occupy key positions of authority in a Clinton government.
I’ve witnessed enough earth wrecking. Count me out of Hillary 2016.
Copyright 2016 W.J. Astore. First published in Bracing Views. Reprinted in Vox Populi with permission.
Nothing to see here … move along