It is happening folks and what can we do about it?
A nearly 18,000-acre stretch of land extending from California’s Central Coast to the San Joaquin Valley is the setting for a brewing debate over an oil-extraction method that has little governmental oversight.
The land, which spans Monterey, San Benito and Fresno counties, rests on a large chunk of the Monterey Shale, a formation of underground minerals long eyed by the energy industry for its potential to yield billions of barrels of oil.
That potential is expected to come closer to reality in December, when the federal government – which owns below-surface rights to the mostly private land – is scheduled to hold an auction to lease out parcels to oil and gas companies.
Drilling companies come into an area armed to the gunnels with exemptions to the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Safe Drinking Water Act, CERCLA (Superfund ACt), Resource Conservation And Recovery Act, Environmental Policy Act.
What does exemption mean? Exemption means they have permission from the US Government, our lawmakers, our courts, to poison the water, the air, the soil and everything we need and nature needs to prosper and thrive. It means you and I, our local government, city councils, board of Supervisors, State and Federal regulatory agencies can’t do a thing about it. It means all those Laws protecting our health and the environment do not apply to any Fracturing operation because they are exempt.
Want an example of how this works? THE BP OIL SPILL. That was the Halliburton Loophole in action. The Halliburton Loophole is the nickname for all those exemptions rolled into a neat and tidy little immunity package. The BP oil spill is a perfect example of how the people, the fish, the water, the environment and everything needed to sustain and grow lack, are void of, any protection, any say, any rights, against an operation armed to the gunnels with exemptions. It’s all legal. It’s the law and meant to disarm, disembody, disenfranchise, the people and an entire eco system to the point of absolute helplessness.
We watched in horror and disbelief people’s lives being destroyed and asked ourselves how could this happen? Dumbfounded we watched families, children, fisherman, birds, sea life, and everything that makes life livable die an awful agonizing death right before our eyes. How could this happen?
The Halliburton Loophole happened. And nobody could do a damn thing about it. Not before, during or after. It was all legal. It was all lawful. Our government, by giving Fracturing operations exemptions made sure that all the harm, death, destruction, irreversible damage was perfectly legal and that the operations were not liable for any errors, mistakes, accidents. Now, that is the priceless prince of LOOPHOLES.
With the approval of these oil leases in California we are looking at exactly the same conditions and terms that Florida was operating under when the BP Spill occurred. NOTHING HAS CHANGED. All the Loopholes are in full working order.
Everything is exactly the same. Still legal. Still lawful. What about all those Regulatory agencies and their laws and rules about air, water, soil contamination? EXEMPT. None of those rules, regulation apply. Regulatory agency’s job now is to regulate the level of harm. They can’t, by law stop or prevent harm from happening. So, for god sake don’t think negotiating with them is going to protect you and your environment.
Now tell me how much poison in your water is enough? What is the new safe level of dioxins, lighter fluid, poly, moly, ethyl , methyl bad crap going into our water table, water shed, streams, springs, treatment plants going to be? Do you see anything in these negotiations that say zero toxins are what we want? NO. Why? because it is not about stopping, preventing harm it is about regulating the level.
The reason why we can’t stop this from happening is because we don’t have any legal standing in the eyes of the law. We the people have been negotiated out of the legal process via the exemption process. And more importantly, more critical and what we are all about as a living, breathing organism needing nature and all she provides for us in the form of air, water, soil to thrive and prosper, is without any legal standing.Get the picture? We can’t win any legal battles against these operations because there are no laws in any city, county, state or federal jurisdiction that recognizes our rights and the rights of nature to a clean, safe, healthy, prosper environment.
Until and when we give nature a voice and legal standing within our communities, until and when we incorporate the Rights of Nature into our legal process thereby giving our Rights to Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness legal grounds on which to stand we are at the mercy of LOOPHOLES.There ought to be a LAW is the battle cry. We, the people of San Luis Obispo are taking the law, as is our right, into our own hands. We are writing a law, for, by and of the people, in an initiative process, that will incorporate the rights of nature and our right to speak on her behalf thereby creating a legal certainty and making it a law. This legal certainty is the noose that strangles LOOPHOLES. It trumps exemptions.
That is our plan and we are sticking to it. We are treading where no one has tread before, but not alone. We have joined with others who share the need and desire to give homage, respect, honor to our Creator, our Mother and the source of all living things of which we are an integral part. By giving Nature the legal status as our Benefactor we give ourselves legal standing as the beneficiary. All the Laws of Nature which we are duty bound to respect and honor take precedence over man-made laws and the exemptions to them. Now water has rights and we are obligated to protect and preserve its integrity and in so doing protect and preserve our integrity and well-being.
Now the soil and all living things in the soil and that are dependent on it, the trees, plants, animals, living organisms designed to thrive and grow and prosper are part and parcel of the bounty we are blessed to be a part of, have legal rights.The beauty of this law is Our Right to live in peaceful harmony with our Environment in no way can be misconstrued as giving anyone or anything the Right to violate that Right. And there it is. Under our law Exemptions do not apply, are not recognized and are regarded as violations with felony penalties attached. This is saying to all those Loophole toting operations If you even think about violating our Rights we are going to throw your sorry asses in jail and throw the key away.
Does this approach seem a little extreme and off the charts to you? Think of the consequences to a community without this kind of law. Remember the Gulf and then tell me what you think.