Ecological Double Standards

Why can locals block fracking, but not support it … get wind turbines, but not block them?

by Paul Driessen

Paul Driessen
Paul Driessen

United States -( Donald Trump recently said he supports giving local communities control over hydraulic fracturing. “If some areas don’t want” fracking, the decision should be “up to them,” he commented.

Trump supports this proven and safe technology to develop America’s enormous oil and natural gas deposits, create millions of jobs and generate billions in revenues. However, his stance on local veto power is the same as Hillary Clinton’s, though she would also try to regulate fracking into oblivion.

Their willingness to cede control over this single energy technology to thousands of communities across shale country appears to reflect common misperceptions that fracking causes earthquakes, water contamination and air pollution. As explained in articles, commentaries, reports and documentary films, there is no evidence to support these claims.

Fracking-induced earth tremors are akin to vibrations from a dump truck on your street. No groundwater contamination has ever been traced to hydraulic fracturing. Methane in tap water results from water wells improperly drilled through gas-prone rock formations and was an issue long before fracking. Air emissions are below what we find in residential neighborhoods during non-rush hours.

But anti-fossil fuel activists assiduously promote disinformation about this revolutionary technology, as part of their agenda to fundamentally transform the way we produce energy to support our livelihoods and living standards. They want to replace affordable, reliable hydrocarbons with expensive, unreliable, subsidized, crony-corporatist, environmentally damaging wind, solar and biofuel sources.

Equally important, the two candidates’ stance on local fracking vetoes represents a double standard that raises fascinating public policy questions.

What if poor communities WANT fracking? What if a state restricts or bans fracking – but some towns (like those in New York’s Southern Tier, where Marcellus Shale deposits are located) don’t believe the anti-fracking disinformation and desperately need the jobs, revenues and improved living standards they see across the border in Pennsylvania, where fracking is permitted? Shouldn’t those communities be able to permit it, in defiance of the state ban? Will Trump and Clinton support THEIR self-determination?

Suppose those same communities don’t want any more 600-foot-tall wind turbines, but the state decrees they have no choice. The locals underscore the human health impacts, bird and bat slaughter, lost tourism and high electricity prices associated with wind power. They note that a few landowners will profit, while the rest receive no benefits, and many monstrous towers will not be removed when they stop working.

They point out that people could go to jail for possessing an eagle feather, but wind energy companies can kill thousands of eagles annually with no penalty. They note that politicians support turbines because they get hefty campaign contributions from Big Wind, in exchange for mandates, subsidies and big profits.

If those NY communities don’t want more (or any) wind turbines, shouldn’t the decision be up to them?

If West Virginians want coal mining, low-cost coal-based electricity and the good jobs that these industries provide – and reject Climate Hustle assertions that carbon-based energy causes weather and climate chaos – shouldn’t the decision to continue mining and burning coal be “up to them,” too?

If they are tired of thousands of lost jobs, local families and businesses driven into bankruptcy, housing markets devastated, people forced to go on welfare, churches and charities overwhelmed by pleas for food and counseling, schools and hospitals unable to remain open – because of EPA’s War on Coal – shouldn’t their state and local communities be “given control” over their lives and destinies?

Yet another conflagration is incinerating forests, wildlife and homes, and threatening the lives of residents and firefighters west of Hamilton, Montana. Like the Waldo Canyon fire near Colorado Springs a few years ago, and countless others in between, the Roaring Lion wildfire is largely due to radical environmentalists, politicians, bureaucrats and judges refusing to allow tree thinning in national forests. They know dry summers, high winds and beetle kills make disasters in and around these forests highly likely, but they refuse to revise their policies, and don’t seem to give one spotted owl hoot.

Shouldn’t those communities have the right to thin out trees and brush, create fire breaks and take other preventive measures, before additional homes, dreams and lives are lost to more uncontrollable infernos?

Hundreds of millions of acres have already been set aside as national parks, wildlife refuges and wilderness areas – made off-limits to any development. Other federal lands (in states where the federal government controls 30-89% of all the acreage) contain vast amounts of oil, gas, coal, metals, timber, water, grazing and other valuable resources. The Institute for Energy Research has calculated that US federal, state and private lands contain five times more oil than Saudi Arabia, 575 years worth of natural gas and 4,000 years of coal, at current consumption rates.

Developing just the fossil fuels on federal lands – in an environmentally sound fashion – could create millions of new jobs, increase US economic activity by $21 trillion, and generate $5.8 trillion in federal, state and local tax revenues over the next 37 years, the IER estimates.

If the majority of Americans want to develop these resources and create jobs and better futures for their children, shouldn’t that decision be up to them? Shouldn’t they be freed from the shackles of unelected, unaccountable Big Green and Big Government? Shouldn’t decisions about responsibly developing oil, gas, coal, gold and rare earth metals be primarily up to voters at large and individual states – with guidance and assistance (but not veto power) from federal authorities – especially when the bureaucrats are in improper and illegal collusion with radical environmentalist groups?

Why should California farm families and communities be sacrificed on the altar of a fishy evolutionary failure that barely escaped extinction – while bald and golden eagles are wiped out by wind turbines?

If the majority of Americans don’t want climate change agendas jammed down their throats – including carbon taxes and restrictions, habitat-eating biofuels, wind turbines, bird-roasting solar thermal plants, and huge solar farms that smother cropland and wildlife habitats under solar panels – shouldn’t the decisions be up to them, and not just to a few greenies, politicians, bureaucrats and judges?

Why must these decisions always amount to a one-way street, a ratchet that cranks ever tighter and more restrictive – always in favor of eco-purists and fanatics?

Indeed, on a host of issues, why should small numbers of activist politicians, campaigners and judges be able to dictate our lives, livelihoods, living standards, liberties, life spans and societal norms – and asset the “right” to bend or break our laws, constitution and science to impose their will?

With our economy growing at its worst rate out of a recession since 1949, and expanding at barely 1% a year in Obama’s last year, why should every state, community, business and family have to accept the lies and edicts handed down by intolerant, dictatorial Washington, Albany or Sacramento elites?

If local control is a good thing, and it generally is, why not have it across the board, or at least on most issues? On abortion, health insurance for nuns and transgender access to bathrooms, for instance?

Why, instead, is local control almost always ignored in favor of policies that serve progressive-leftist-environmentalist-Democrat ideologies and agendas? And why isn’t our national will implemented on immigration and sanctuary cities for illegal, criminal and terrorist immigrants?

These issues dominate this year’s election. Let’s remember that when we head to the polls.

About the Author:

Paul Driessen is senior policy analyst for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow, Heartland Institute and Congress of Racial Equality, and author of Eco-Imperialism: Green power – Black death.

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Phil Elliott

I’m sorry Mr. Driesson, “vibrations from a Dump truck”? I happen to live about 200 mi. from a very active earthquake zone, thanks to the injection of wastewater. Although I personally have not received any damage to my property, others in my community have, and I have felt the shaking. Your analogy is wrong and you seem to be an apoligist for that practice


200 miles ??
What a load of lefty anti-fracking spew.

Greg Alvarez

This is full of untruths about wind energy. There is no credible study anywhere in the world showing adverse effects on human health from wind energy, and here are numerous studies showing wind farms have on effect on property values. Campaign contributions from “Big Wind?” Fossil fuel companies have given exponentially more and it’s disingenuous to claim otherwise. Same thing with incentives given to energy sources. The truth is all energy sources in the U.S. receive government incentives, and wind power has received a fraction of them. Since 1950, wind has received less than 3% of all federal dollars spent… Read more »


MORE liberal lies and bullshyte.
It DOES kill THOSANDS of birds INCLUDING MANY ENDANGERED SPECIES; IT FAILS to generate sufficient energy to PAY its construction (very enviromentally UNSOUND) and operating costs.
DID I mention it also kills bats that eat insects; that the low level HUM from the towers causes problems for peoples health?
Thanks for proving that you are nothing more than a low information, ignorant troll.


I hate radicals. You should really reserve your opinion for a time when it can be expressed to people who may give it credence despite the vitriolic, rabid saliva spraying. Everything Get said is accurate. Just because someone is able to use logic to refute your beliefs doesn’t mean they are a liberal. It simply means they are able to escape their bubble and review facts for their own merit. I live near a massive wind farm with a massive nuclear facility on the other side and I’m neither afraid of turning green nor losing sleep or my mind from… Read more »


In south Texas where I live we never heard of an earthquake until the Eagle shale fired up oil drilling by the droves. Now earthquakes are very common. You tell me it’s not caused from fracking.

As much money as the oil companies make you would think they could come up with a better technique.


Another left winger paid troll and fartsniffer spews its load of BS. I bet you live no where near South Texas and are probably well up in the liberal dimocrap stronghold of Chicago.

Wild Bill

More earthquakes are probably due to better reporting and record keeping.


Fracking doesn’t cause earthquakes or befoul water supplies? Tell that to the folks in Pennsylvania would can light their tap water on fire. But they did get water purification systems installed though…paid for by the fracking folks. I think giving Americans control over their land and communities is a good thing. When that Texas rancher didn’t want the pipeline buried on her property by TransCanada, she was forced to do it through the power of Imminent Domain. So let’s ask her, an American Rancher, how she feels about a foreign corporation being able to do what they want on her… Read more »


HEY less than superg; FOr your uniformed ignorance, they had those problems BEFORE fracking. An INTELLIGENT bit of research would have revealed that to you. Pipelines and iminent doman have been used for years and is GROSSLY ABUSED by left winger dimocrap cities, AGAIN do a little research before spewing your stupidity and revealing what a total moron you really are. The Texas Rancher is nothing more than SHEER out right left winger enviro-nazi lies and STUPIDITY. The TransCanada pipeline will cone NO WHERE NEAR TEXAS. Yes we see you ARE a chrome plated left winger turd with donkey dung… Read more »