The Forward, the leading national Jewish weekly, has just reported that four Jewish summer camps in Pennsylvania have signed leases with gas exploration companies to allow “fracking” –- the hydro-fracturing method of pouring tons of highly chemicalized water to smash shale rocks into releasing natural gas.
The four are Starlight’s Perlman Camp, which is owned and operated by B’nai B’rith; Camps Nesher and Shoshanim, which share a property in Lakewood and are owned and operated by the New Jersey Federation of YMHA and YWHA; and Camp Morasha, an independent camp in Lakewood.
The Forward reports that “Fracking of a single well creates more than 1 million gallons of wastewater awash in pollutants, including some radioactive materials. According to a February report in The New York Times, state and federal documents show that the wastewater is sometimes hauled to sewage plants not designed to treat it and then discharged into rivers that supply drinking water.”
The Shalom Center views it as a profound violation of Jewish wisdom and values for summer camps or other Jewish institutions to sell the rights to use their land in ways that will poison God’s and humanity’s earth, air, food, and water. See below for actions you can take to halt this.
Normal Federal protections for drinking water and clean air have been thwarted by the Halliburton Loophole pushed through Congress by former Vice-President Dick Cheney. It prevents application of these protective rules to drilling by the gas and oil industries. As a result, no one knows what chemicals are causing the dangers to water, food, and health that are appearing in fracking areas.
Fracking has turned the drinking water of farmers near well-heads into “water” that turns to flame when a match is lit at the kitchen faucets.