Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature

W.J. Astore: Hillary and the Earth Wreckers

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

7 comments on “W.J. Astore: Hillary and the Earth Wreckers

  1. ruth clark
    August 20, 2016

    I don’t know what the proverbial circular firing squad that Dems are notorious for is. Please elucidate.


    • Patricia A. Nugent
      August 21, 2016

      Hi Ruth – By definition, a circular firing squad is when a group of people engage in self-destructive internal conflicts and mutual recriminations. As they say, Republicans fall in line with their positions and nominees; Democrats want to fall in love. The ‘friendly fire’ often kills our chances of victory. I worry that those who seek a 100% ideological match with the Dem nominee will hand the presidency over to Trump. In my book, that would be a Planet Wrecker.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Vox Populi
        August 21, 2016

        “Republicans fall in line with their positions and nominees; Democrats want to fall in love.” What a great description of the difference in the two parties! Democrats outnumber Republicans by a large margin, but we often sabotage our candidates in various ways, including by not showing up on election day. As they say, decisions are made by those who show up… Like many progressives, I am very ambivalent about Hillary becoming president. She is pro-fracking, pro-war, and pro-Wall Street, but compared to Trump, she looks like a liberal…

        Liked by 1 person

      • ruth clark
        August 21, 2016

        Thanks for answering my question, Pat. As I read the article, the author has an issue he really believes in, to the point that he cannot vote for either of the mainstream candidates. Hilllary has a lot of support from mainstream Republicans, Wall Street types, even the Koch brothers, from what I read. She’s so far ahead that I don’t feel any necessity to vote for her, especially due to the state I live in, so I feel I can “waste” my vote and vote third party for the candidate who really believes we should save the planet. There are a lot of individual choices to be made, and I feel that people should vote their conscience, after going through a careful thought process, and certainly not indulge in mutual recrimination and bickering, as you point out.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Patricia A. Nugent
          August 21, 2016

          I understand and recognize the matter of conscience. But if enough people feel their vote isn’t needed (based on current polling, for instance), we stand to inadvertently vote in President Trump. A certain path to more fracking and relaxing of ALL environmental standards.


  2. Patricia A. Nugent
    August 19, 2016

    I’m a staunch anti-fracker, active in the movement in NYS that resulted in a statewide ban. I grieve for the mess in PA. However, the closing line of this editorial is very troubling to me as it represents the proverbial circular firing squad that Dems are notorious for. We can’t afford to be so virtuous as to be single-issue voters. No candidate ever matches up with our views 100%…or even 50%! That’s why we have Congressional reps and (ideally) lobby them to represent our particular positions. NYS’s Governor Cuomo did not start out as an anti-fracker – we pushed him into it! There may be many reasons to be less than thrilled with Hillary’s candidacy but…the lesser of two evils is still less evil. What is Donald Trump’s position on fracking anyway? We can all guess. And we know what it would be on the Supreme Court pick, women’s right to choose, minimum wage, environmental standards, immigration etc. We cannot risk a default Trump presidency by throwing the baby out with the wastewater.


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This entry was posted on August 19, 2016 by in Environmentalism, Opinion Leaders.

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