What Happens When America’s Ecological Toilet Overflows?

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Experts: Winston Smith

The Trump administration is now looking into revamping clean water regulations to let oil drillers in Texas to discharge their wastewater directly into rivers and streams. This, along with the free reign Mad Hatter of an interior secretary, Make Donald Trump Earth enemy number one.

After cutting $2.5 billion from the annual budget of the Environmental Protection Agency earlier this year, then directing lunatic Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to gut America’s conservation efforts, the president rolled back offshore drilling safety rules. Now the administration is moving to let big energy pump sludge into waterways instead of into deep disposal wells drilled decades ago. These underground wastewater reservoirs made for the wastewater of oil drilling are filling up, so Trump’s administration has to make a move if he is to make America great again with cheap gas.

Now, the EPA is looking into changing federal laws regulating wastewater from oil and gas wells, a move that would surely put many citizens in peril. The real problem is not so much conventional oil drilling and production, but the excess wastewater produced by hydraulic fracking. Back in 2016, the EPA banned sewage plants from accepting wastewater associated with hydraulic fracturing when residents along the Monongahela River in western Pennsylvania were advised to use bottled drinking water because the supply was contaminated.

The issue and the danger at hand are what environmentalists have warned about for years now. Fracking is simply not a sustainable practice. The facts cannot be argued. For every barrel of oil produced, there are four or five barrels of wastewater produced. Short version, the cesspool that are Texas and other state aquifers are about to overflow. Trump and his officials know this, and so do big oil and their lobbyists in Washington. But the “scientific method” in America’s capital is to negotiate around rather than to admit a problem.

The bigger problem is the fact most of Trump’s policies may lead to irreparable damage to the environment and many citizens. Since turning loose wild man Ryan Zinke, many experts say U.S. wilderness areas may never recover. This quote from a New Yorker story about Zinke madness is indicative.

“To provide entertainment for his employees, the Secretary had an arcade game called Big Buck Hunter installed in the cafeteria. The game comes with plastic rifles, which players aim at animated deer.”

America’s chief of defending wild places is nutso, making a joke of everything that ever mattered to environmentalists and our nation’s wild heritage.

News the EPA just scrapped two expert panels tasked with evaluating air pollution only serves as more proof Trump is determined to run America resources into the ground, literally. The president has made a clown show out of climate change as evidenced by his recent suggestion the climate may actually be “fabulous,” in the wake of an ominous UN report on looming disaster. That UN report by 91 authors across 40 countries, outlines the impact of global warming of 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. The report tells of a world rapidly running out of time before the planet will see catastrophic effects. And the fact Hurricane Michael raced to category 4 strength on Gulf of Mexico water temperatures above historic levels, now weighs heavily on those effected.

A so-called “Medicane” in the Mediterranean Sea days ago, Michael, Zinke’s recent decision to open up great swaths of both coasts to offshore oil and gas drilling, and a Trump move to outproduce even OPEC promise disaster. But the America people are conditioned to dig their heads into the sand and drive their SUVs harder and faster as long as the cheap gas lasts. And Trump also wants to make it easier for energy companies to leak methane—one of the most powerful greenhouse gases and a massive contri  butor to climate change. If he were not a member of the human race too, it would be easy to assume Trump is out to destroy the planet for everyone. And on the coal issue, Reverend Leah D. Schade at the Lexington Herald-Leader in Kentucky says:

“By the EPA’s own unashamed admission, the new rule will allow even more dirty coal particulates into our lungs, resulting in 1,400 premature deaths annually by 2030. That’s 16,800 deaths over the next 12 years.”

These policy moves by Donald Trump are actually logical if you consider who wanted him in the White House in the first place. His constituency works for big energy, or owns big energy, how much clearer could the reason destruction of EPA norms be? The public is now numbed to the president’s actions because of his “loose cannon” antics like having a painting done of he and Abraham Lincoln sharing a Diet Coke. The same man who says climate scientists are being political over climate change, trusts North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un. The president who raved about the qualifications of Secretary of Defense General “Mad Dog” Mattis, is now saying Mattis may be leaving.

At the end of the day, people in America just don’t understand (or care to) what the fracking Trump’s energy boom depends on. The also don’t know that Shale gas now accounts for more than half of total US production, according to the EIA, up from almost nothing a decade ago. As for Trump, here’s his juvenile ideology about fracking:

“We’ve got underneath us more oil than anybody, and nobody knew it until five years ago. And I want to use it. And I don’t want that taken away by the Paris accord. I don’t want them to say all of that wealth that the United States has under its feet, but that China doesn’t have and that other countries don’t have, we can’t use.”

America’s chief executive has a simplistic mind and is a simpleton when it comes to decision making. What Trump “thinks” is what goes, but the man is making decisions that will impact Americans for generations – forever. Even as I type this there are plenty of unknowns about the environmental impacts of fracking. All that we do know is based on baseline testing before drilling began. Furthermore, industry secrecy and insufficient government regulations have left an environmental mess in many places. One estimate hints at just how disastrous more fracking will be. A study recently revealed that fracking released 5.3 billion pounds of methane into the atmosphere back in 2014. And, more than 239 billion gallons of water have been used in fracking since 2005, or an average of 3 million gallons per well. Now, Trump’s new policies threaten to magnify these numbers many times, and before any real science has been done to determine the long reaching effects.

It’s as if we’re being led by a swaggering blowhard of a kid into the deep woods of unknowing. Yes, America today is exactly like that. We have no idea where we are going, but we are determined to get there fast. My advise for anyone who has been bold enough to read this report, is to play moderate and ask your neighbors to join you. Either this, or get your mop bucket out to clean up Donald Trump’s untidy toilet bowl mess. If you have kids, you owe it to them.

Winston Smith, out for now.


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