Cory Booker just tweeted that he saw Gasland II and that it “echoed his feelings”. After three weeks of silence I was hoping for more than that, but I am hopeful if he had been for fracking before, that at least he had seen the movie and it may have changed his mind.
I urge all Progressive Dems to watch this film when it airs tonite. It raises serious questions we need to ask our elected Democratic leaders here in NJ.
The first film which I saw at a private screening with the producer a few years ago, shocked and saddened me. As a licensed water resources engineer in NJ who has studied and worked hard to appreciate the Clean Water Act and the Clean Air Act and the Safe Drinking Water Act, which every business needs to comply with – every business except one – the Gas and oil industry – I was stunned and appalled that The Energy industry is allowed to ignore these laws I spent my career trying to protect and uphold.
What is so disturbing about the second film is the number of Democrats with high offices – Like Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, Former PA Gov, Ed Rendell, who have courted the Oil and Gas industry for campaign cash. The new Netflix series – House of Cards even uses the issue – with Dems courting Gas lobbyists in the Delaware Basin. The plot strikes too close to home.
Although he is not in the film, but falling right into the playbook of pretending to care about the environment while not standing up on the fracking issue – falls Cory Booker – That Cory Booker, twitter addict who courts vegans – many of whom are decidedly against fracking. On the eve of the Fracking Waste Ban rally to overturn Chris Christie’s veto, the Bergen Dems had their convention to endorse a senate candidate – which turned out to be Booker.
I used to be a Committee person but no longer am due to my move to a new town. I still have friends there who report to me what happens at these conventions closed to the media.
That night one of these friends reported that a Committee person who is very concerned about fracking asked my source, what is Booker’s position on fracking. My source told the committee person to ask Booker since he was standing nearby, surrounded by a group of adoring Dems looking for autographs, pictures, or just to bask in the glow of the anointed frontrunner. The Committee person returned, face fallen and reported directly to my source that they did indeed ask Booker his position and he said he was for fracking. This Committee person also said that when they turned away, disappointed – they told Booker that he had just lost their vote.
I then tweeted that report. Others immediately asked me to confirm and I told them I do not reveal my sources and to check with the Booker campaign. The anti-pipeline activists in North Jersey who follow me on twitter immediately retweeted my report and then mass tweeted Booker to reveal his position publicly. That was nearly three weeks ago. At the time, an apparent Booker freak-out then ensued. Booker dropped his carefully honed Twitter image of Zen – Vegan master of inspiration and direct tweeted me that I was lying and that the conversation never took place and why would I make that up. At the same time, Blue Jersey tweeted to Booker to confirm the report. He dropped the Zen master persona to tweet a scathing message to Blue Jersey that they should never tweet anything like that without checking with him first. Very Un-Booker like. Going after the press. Trying to control the internets. Watching Mayor Twitter trying to control the Twitter universe was quite entertaining. Up to this point, I had a positive impression of Booker. But the way he behaved while not stating his position was telling. Vegan followers of his on twitter started calling him a Dino. Not a good state of affairs for Booker. Then he composed himself and like Richard Gere on Chicago dancing himself crazy in front of the jury, Booker tweeted like there was no tomorrow and retweeted adoring messages from the Twitter fans – but absolutely not one stated his position on fracking.
I had put up a diary about this that nite and took it down out of respect for Blue Jersey – assuming Booker would make time to give an interview after that very public smackdown of the largest most widely read Democratic blog in NJ. But I heard nothing. And so on the day of the Gasland II premiere – I am releasing a diary about this. Because I believe the Democrats in NJ deserve to know Booker’s position on Fracking BEFORE the primary. Not after. I have tweeted him directly myself asking him to publicly state his position. Nothing but crickets for nearly three weeks. I think that is enough time for him to come clean after trying to impugn my character, call me a liar, and try to intimidate me and Blue Jersey into silence on this issue.
As for the film tonite, you need to come away knowing three things.
1)Natural Gas is a FOSSIL FUEL which is many times more powerful a greenhouse gas than C02 and it is released at levels that make it worse for the climate than coal or oil.
2) The Gas industry does not have to comply with the Clean Water Act, the Safe Drinking Water Act, or the Clean Air Act – because what they do is toxic.
3)There is only a 1 inch thick layer of concrete in a fracked gas well casing that easily fails and can cause groundwater contamination when it does fail.
What you need to ask your NJ legislators and US Senate candidates is:
1) Are they OK with allowing fracking waste from PA to be disposed of here in NJ?
2) Have they taken any money from Big Gas, and how much exactly?
If Booker is for fracking then he will be no different on the environment than Americans For Prosperity Republican candidate Steve Lonegan – who represents the Koch Brothers. But Steve Lonegan is so embarrassing that even the Koch Brothers would probably rather have a PRO fracking Booker in the Senate than a loose cannon like Lonegan. Which is why we need to know Booker’s position on fracking and the source of his campaign cash. Booker’s opponents in the primary – Rush Holt and Frank Pallone both appear in the film (as the good guys).
We already know that Rush Holt has the best record on the environment. And that Frank Pallone does not want another Hurricane Sandy. But we need to make sure we are not sending a Gas industry funded Republican in Democratic clothes to DC. Bookers silence over the past three weeks is deafening on this issue. And telling.
Please watch the film tonight so you all can fully appreciate what is really at stake here and ask pointed questions of our elected leaders so that you can make an informed choice for Senate.