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"Natural gas" means "Fracking"

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Let's call this a Quick Hits.

I want to add to your list of replacement phrases — substitution words that make right-wing statements make sense. For example, when a right-wing politician says something he wants is going to increase "jobs" he really means "profits" — try it yourself; works every time.

Your new replacement phrase — "natural gas" means "fracking". Thus:

  • "We need more natural gas" = "We need more fracking"
  • "I favor natural gas production" = "I favor fracking"
  • "I'm a natural gas company"= "I'm a fracking company"
See how simple? Every word a true one.

I'm seeing a glut of "natural gas" commercials, an absolute flood. "Natural gas is clean" they say. Yes, true of the gas as it burns, relative to other carbon-based products. But what about its production? (Remember your replacement phrase, which hides the truth.)

In the U.S. today, much new natural gas comes from western states where homesteading farmers were prevented by the government (per the Stockraising Homestead Act of 1916) from owning the mineral rights to their own property. This is the meaning of the term "split estate." Western homesteaders after 1916 owned only the surface.

In the east, you own your mineral rights (unless you or your ancestors had sold them). In the west, you don't — the government did and does.

This is what those BLM auctions, by the way, the ones that Tim DeChristopher disrupted and publicized, are all about — natural gas (fracking) leases.

To produce new natural gas from anywhere in the country almost always requires fracking. The perniciousness of western fracking is that the government can give away (sorry, lease) the fracking rights to fracking companies (see, substitution at work) without the landowner's consent.

Do you want to see how widespread fracking is in the U.S.? Click here for the map (it opens in a new tab).

And for a definition of all these terms — fracking, fracking fluid, and so on — go here, a great, bookmarkable resource.

So two points:

"Natural gas" means "fracking" and "Increasing natural gas production" means "Increasing fracking."

This is the carefully hidden fact behind all those music-sweetened, "jobs"-dangling, mixed-race–friendly commercials that some highly professional PR firm has created to confuse you. (Stay in school, soulless right-wing kids; you too can be paid for such work.)

Watch this trailer for the excellent film Split Estate. A great entry point into this little pocket of evil in the world.

For more on the film, go here.

And remember, the more we "succeed" at carbon production, the more we fail, since everything we "produce" goes into the air. A time-bomb of our own making, and why you should care.


(To follow on Twitter or to send links: @Gaius_Publius)

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