Thursday, August 29, 2013

Energy Citizens: The Warning

Last week I agreed to participate in a conference call with a group called Energy Citizens, theoretically in support of drilling for oil off the coast of Virginia. I should mention that this group was endorsed by Bob Livingston, who's not a Virginian and probably met them as supporters of something reasonable, somewhere else.

I should also mention that my agreement to participate in the conference call contained a message to the group's web site administrator, to the effect that I support offshore drilling but not fracking. I don't really support fracking anywhere, ever, but I especially oppose it in Virginia or any contiguous state (including Pennsylvania--that little strip of land between the Virginia and Pennsylvania borders does not, geologically, count for anything). I think both Virginia and Pennsylvania are too valuable to the nation to risk fracturing the Marcellus Shale Formation.

Anyway, the conference call went through, but sometimes conference calls sound weird, and this one did. I spent three full prepaid Tracfone minutes listening to static interference with what seemed to have been "hold music." I did not hear or speak to a live human being, and after three minutes I decided I'd used up enough prepaid minutes hearing static.

So, what came in the e-mail? Nothing so mindful as "You were never connected to the actual conversation." Nothing so reasonable as "As we discussed in the conference call, about offshore drilling..." It was "Now that you've heard [our version of] the facts, please edit and sign your letter to your Senators in support of fracking the George Washington National Forest."

And they actually had composed a smarmy letter to that effect, and had plugged my name into it.

Well...I edited it, all right. I would never edit anything submitted to this web site the way I edited the letter that had been presumptuously connected with my name. I changed phrases like "allow hydraulic fracturing in the National Forest" to phrases like "ban hydraulic fracturing in any part of Virginia."

And the system says the letter went through! Hurrah! I hope masses of other people edited the Energy Citizens letter as heavily as I did. I hope all their letters went through. The position of this web site is and will always be No Freaking Fracking Around Our Homes.

If you want to try subverting this smarmy and presumptuous campaign, here's the Energy Citizens web site:

If you merely want to remind your Senators that if people in the Appalachian Mountain states had wanted to live in an earthquake zone we would be in California now, here are the e-mail addresses for Senators in the states most affected by this issue:

West Virginia:



New York:

North Carolina:

Points to mention include that we don't want Washington, D.C., or New York City, or any or all of New Jersey or the Outer Banks or Chincoteague Island, to fall into the sea as the result of an earthquake. Likewise, we don't want family farms to sink into pits or mountain springs to become unusable as the result of fracking, and we don't want the rare and endangered creatures found in the high Blue Ridge Mountains to go extinct as the result of habitat loss caused by fracking.

Energy Citizens? Well...they asked for this...they can sink in a pit. Just as long as the pit's not in Virginia.