by Alex Lotorto
This morning, I was sipping coffee and watching Sunday morning talk shows with my parents. We talked about the presidential election when my dad muted the commercial breaks that consistently included fossil fuel industry commercials.
My mom put it simply, "I made phone calls, put up posters, and worked at the [Obama] campaign office in 2008. I won't do that again if he supports fracking. He needs to protect our clean water, public health, and well-being."
Hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking", is used to extract the gas from a rock layer called the Marcellus Shale and in at least 32 states in the country. The biggest corporations in the world have their sites on shale gas plays and the gas trapped in them, including Exxon Mobil, BP, Shell, Chevron, and the China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC).
The vast grassroots organizing efforts to stop fracking, despite being largely unfunded by traditional Big Green environmental groups that have promoted natural gas as a bridge fuel to a clean energy future for years, have carried their weight in the pitched battle against drilling and are going to play a major part in 2012 kingmaking in swing states like Ohio and Pennsylvania.