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David Letterman Spouts “Facts” about Fracking
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As the public and media arena turns like a carousel, the live streaming celebrity theatre picks its legislative and political points to threaten or champion. America is at a post-industrial point, where we are turning to “cleaner” and “greener” energy. The last election cycle saw the candidates arguing about moving either towards or away from renewable carbon based energy. This carbon energy is from carbon dioxide fuming sources that can bring tens of thousands of jobs into places with high unemployment.

  
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As the country moves away from oil imports we seek to become more energy efficient, and the shale-gas industry which harvests some “$36 billion dollars worth of clean burning American fuel” is currently an efficient means to achieving our goal. It is also an industry that happens to be booming, according to Forbes.com. Celebrities have taken various stances on the method of extracting the energy, which is called “fracking.”  Hydraulic fracturing basically entails fracturing rock veins or dikes, with a pressurized liquid, usually water which is mixed with sand and other chemicals. The idea behind this is that the different pressure will help migrate the gas and petroleum to the well where it can be removed.  Though there are concerns over fracking, the environmental protection agency has approved fracking and called it safe.

David Letterman’s position was to comment on fracking and bring in untrue statements, which, since he has a very large audience, can wrongly persuade rational minded people who aren’t aware of the facts. Although as of 2011, 36 cases of groundwater contamination have been declared by the EPA to be caused by fracking, it is still deemed safe, as 60% of all new oil and gas wells worldwide are hydraulically fractured without problems.

Letterman’s exact statements were, “water is disappearing from the planet. We have poisoned and drained the great aquifers underneath the great plains, for heavens sake.” Opponents of fracking claim that fracking drains aquifers, and that is simply not scientifically true. It is also not factual that fracking causes water to disappear from the planet. Letterman also claimed that he had seen tap water ignite on fire, but that is an urban legend that has been debunked. He also says that the Hudson Valley has been ruined. Fracking has been banned and has never taken place in the Hudson Valley, despite the billions of dollars in revenue that would be brought to the area as a result of the big energy coming to town.

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David Letterman is entitled to his opinion on fracking, and on his show he can promote that opinion. However when he uses his position to put fear into peoples’ minds with propaganda that is scientifically not true, then that becomes problematic. When presented with facts, people can best make their own decision.





 

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