As the budget standoff between the Republican controlled House of Representatives and the Democrats reaches a fever pitch, much of the media attention — and frustration — has been focused on reaching a solution to avert a government shutdown.
But, under the radar, newly-elected Republicans across the country are proposing disastrous environmental legislation to achieve radical-right aims, such as opening state parks for fracking and exposing their citizens to industrial waste.
OHIO: At the behest of then-Vice President Dick Cheney, an exemption was inserted into a 2005 energy bill — dubbed the “Haliburton loophole” — which stripped the EPA of its power to regulate a natural gas drilling technique called hydraulic fracturing. This method, named fracking, entails drilling a L-shaped well deep into shale and pumping millions of gallons of water laced with industrial chemicals — chemicals which the energy companies are not legally bound to disclose.
The poisonous fluid fractures the shale and releases natural gas deposits for collection. But the public health risk associated with fracking doesn’t seem to bother Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) and state Republicans.