"Let's stop the bullshit and get down to finding some solutions to our problems," Erin Brockovich recently declared on HuffPost Live.
The consumer advocate and environmental activist recently joined host Janet Varney on HuffPost Live to adress water issues ranging from the fracking controversy to droughts plaguing the United States.
The debate over fracking has heated up in the U.S., particularly in New York, where a decision on the drilling process is expected to be made soon.
Proponents of fracking in New York have argued that it would bring jobs to economically depressed regions. For example, some residents faced with a struggling dairy industry may see fracking as a way to save their land.
Others, such as New Yorkers Against Fracking founder Sandra Steingraber, have argued that “Sending a polluting industry into our most economically impoverished communities is a violation of environmental justice.”
Anti-fracking activists have expressed concerns over the health and environmental risks of hydraulic fracturing. They are particularly worried about tainted drinking water, methane leaks, and long-term greenhouse gas emissions.
Brockovich suggested during the discussion that it's reasonable for communities to say, "We want jobs... but we don't want to be poisoned."
She presented a pile of letters from concerned communities across the U.S. where fracking has picked up and residents are worried about water contamination and their wells running dry. Brockovich argued that while America wants jobs and energy independence, it's necessary that "we don't deplete our water supply, pollute it more than it's already polluted, and/or jeopardize the health and welfare of our citizens."
It's time to move beyond partisan politics and recognize, she argued, that "water is on the table for every single one us. When it's gone, game over. I don't care what company you run; I don't care if you're Republican or liberal."
A crucial step is boosting transparency between companies and the communities where they operate. Brockovich argued companies must be open about how they're fracking, how much water they're using, and what chemicals are involved.
Disclosure of fracking chemicals is an often-discussed issue -- President Obama even declared in his State of the Union address, “I’m requiring all companies that drill for gas on public lands to disclose the chemicals they use. America will develop this resource without putting the health and safety of our citizens at risk.”
To Brockovich, the health of America's citizens is very much at risk, and she argued, "There's been a false sense of security in the American people when it comes to environment issues and our water, because they believe that the EPA is there to protect us, and unfortunately that system's not working right now. They're overburdened, understaffed and underfunded."
Taking a broader look at water woes, she declared, "This is our country, our water. We're entitled to a good life. It's a human rights issue. Let's stop the bullshit and get down to finding some solutions to our problems."Where do you stand on water issues? Join the conversation at HuffPost Live and check out the full discussion with Erin Brockovich below.