On November 13th, the COO of Eagleridge Inc. came to a Homeowners Association meeting in Mansfield, Texas with an armed security escort in tow. He confidently took the podium and told the residents in attendance that anyone who protested his company’s gas wells, many of which are less than 200 feet from homes and schools, will end up on the Department of Homeland Security Terror Watch List.
A surreal statement to say the least for regular families and individuals who simply do not want the environmentally disastrous hydraulic fracturing process to endanger their beloved community.
In most cases, terrorism is understood as the use of violence and intimidation for political coercion….Which is certainly an ironic twist to add to the already devious machinations of caravanning a politically entrenched executive about town with fully equiped security personnel.
While hydraulic fracturing has violent opposition, the vast majority of those who are against the invasive nature of fracking are certainly not radicals, but rather members of regular communities (the one in question being outside of overwhelmingly pro-oil Fort Worth), looking to protect the health and well-being of those around them.
Unfortunately, this labeling of normal everyday citizens is not a brand-new phenomena, with the fracking industry being an old hat at employing strong-arm tactics to push their highly-efficient, highly-dangerous method of oil sourcing.
With the post-9/11 environment manufactured by the leviathan that has become the Department of Homeland Security, companies like Eagleridge have the free reign to throw around the “terrorist” label with few consequences, and to the severe disadvantage of the citizenry. Under the blanket rules of the DHS, religious groups, online gaming communities, right-wing ideologues, and everyone else who says anything that is even relatively connected to the idea of terrorism, are fair game.
The wide-scale effort to label large swaths of people serves as a surveillance strategy that keeps the intelligence community well-funded, and the Oil & Gas Industry free from those pesky protesters who seem to slow down business as usual.
Using intimidation tactics, like the ones displayed by COO Mark Grawe, are not only wrong, but they prove that the process of fracking is flawed at its core. Good ideas, technological innovation and new ways of doing things (with few adverse effects) are commonly embraced if they serve their stated purpose.
Many have no issue with allowing a certain amount of drilling to occur in the United States, and they shouldn’t, considering the global economy’s backbone is energy, and fossil fuels are essential in maintaining a massive and growing population while maintaining our quality of life. Even so, when a process is shrouded in such secrecy, with transparency-destroying legislation attempting to make it an ever more clandestine shadow industry, then something is fundamentally wrong.
Maybe it’s the undisclosed bevy of chemicals they shoot into the ground, 40% of which is left to mix with clean water sources….Or maybe it is the intrusive technique that combines those chemicals with high pressure water to literally fracture rock in order to get to the oil, and in doing so, creating a risk for earthquakes. Yes, fracking even leads to a greater chance for earthquakes!
There is no way around it. Fracking is an extremely dirty activity that will be condemned once the public has full information on what truly goes on.
Unfortunately, with armed security guards and the Department of Homeland Security breathing down the neck of otherwise decent American citizens who want what is best for their town, disclosure and regulation are becoming less and less likely….along with the chances of living in a free, democratic society where the best ideas rise to the top and the greatest dangers are exposed.
If the Status Quo prevails, we should expect an ever larger amount of people labeled potential terrorists. Opposite of the intended effect, this could lead to widespread protests and revolts that never would have occurred otherwise. The fear-based psychology that the government has unleashed upon the American people over the past decade, combined with the slippery slope of surveillance, will almost inevitably lead to the existential query, “Who is the real threat?”
While protection from those looking to harm us is unquestionably the governments overarching goal, this question cannot be understated. For when the entire population is labeled a risk to State power, then it is the State itself which must be overthrown. Let’s just hope it never comes to that.