Last night, Rachel Maddow coined the phrase, "Don't frack with me," when she spoke with actor-director-environmental activist Mark Ruffalo about the immediate threat posed to 5% of America's water supply by fracking, a gas drilling practice, known to contaminate water supplies nationwide -- and now coming to the New York tri-state region.
In the last month, fracking was greenlighted to begin in the areas from which New York City, Philadelphia, and areas of New Jersey get their water. Fracking uses undisclosed chemicals and sends them down into the ground in areas adjacent to aquifiers. Fracking was de-regulated by Vice-President Cheney from the Safe Drinking Water Act, the Clean Water Act, the Superfund Act, and others in the 2005 Bush Energy Bill, in a provision called the "Halliburton Loophole."
"They don't have to tell us what's in the chemicals," Maddow noted, comparing fracking to the "proprietary chemicals" used in the Gulf Oil Spill.
"If you think that what you are putting into the ground is so safe," Ruffalo addressed the gas industry now so gung-ho to drill near NYC's water source, "Why note come into the regulation of the Clean Water Act?"
The area where drilling is slated to occur is in "the watershed for 19 million people -- 5% of our population could have their water contaminated" by this process, Ruffalo notes. Thirty thousand gas wells are slated to be fracked immediately.
For more information, listen to this radio interview with Mark Ruffalo.
Previous posts Huffington Posts on this topic: Fracking Greenlighted to begin soon near NY water supply, and Why Drilling Isn't Regulated News and to see Gasland.