Thursday, April 26, 2012

The fight to control fracking: State vs. Local

Salon just ran an interesting piece by David Sirota. He claims that the science has demonstrated conclusively that fracking is harmful. He then goes on to argue that if states wrest control away from municipalities, the science will be moot: big oil and gas corporations will just buy political influence at the state level to get their way. Curious, though, I don't know why he thinks that somehow (even if "the science" is settled, which it is not...there is no such thing as "the" science) local government will be more science-based than state government.

I agree local governments ought to retain as much power, or more, than they currently have over shale gas development. But I don't think this is because they have "the" scientific answer - rather, as Sirota also notes, it is because they more directly represent the will of the people impacted by the industrial activities associated with getting gas out of the ground and to market.

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