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A Fractivist Puts on Doctor’s Clothes to Practice Hypocrisy

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K.J. Rodgers
Crownsville, Maryland  

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The fractivist is a pseudo-environmentalist, substituting ideology and opinion for fact, and neither doctor’s clothing nor credentials will ever change that.

Hot off the trail of Maryland public hearings on natural gas development, we are seeing a lot of fractivist fluff. It’s all aimed at squelching enthusiasm for drilling. Everywhere I look, new op-eds are popping up. So-called environmentalists are hard at work looking for a loophole to stop our natural gas export facility at Cove Point. You almost have to admire their perseverance – if it were not so ignorantly placed.

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Dr. Angiola in cuffs being removed from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

I just came across an opinion piece in The Baltimore Sun, written by Dr. Gina M. Angiola. She is a 53-year old non-practicing doctor in obstetrics and gynecology who now sells real estate. She’s also on the board of the Chesapeake Physicians for Social Responsibility and a fractivist. She says the only way to safeguard our State’s future is to ban fracking outright. Angela, as a physician by training, gains instant respect. A close reading of her observations, though, indicates she’s only offering opinion. She has few, if any, of her facts correct.

Consider, for example, the opening to her second paragraph. “When Maryland began studying fracking in 2011, research on impacts was in its infancy,” she says. Really? The process is more than 60 years old. It has been studied extensively several times, including an EPA study that preceded the one just finished. We are just learning the impacts? Perhaps she means we are now learning the supply of gas is three times larger than originally estimated – but she’s not. No, she’s all about fractivist talking points long ago refuted and she’s happy to keep sputter them.

Dr. Angiola goes on, for instance, to spout the widely-panned nonsense from Howarth suggesting that fracking leaks enough methane to make it a worse option than coal.

“Methane leakage from gas development, production, distribution and well abandonment is much higher than previously understood, making fracked gas as bad or worse than coal or oil for climate impacts.”

She must not have seen the NOAA Research paper by Hinrich Schaefer, an atmospheric scientist at the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research. He states greenhouse gas emissions by the US energy industry aren’t enough to even register on the global scale. However, do you know what has registered? It is that increased natural gas use, made possible by fracking, is responsible for almost 20% of the drop in emissions. Solar power is responsible for a mere 1% of the decline. For every ton of carbon dioxide cut by solar power, fracking cuts 13 tons.

She offers more such talking points and then in typical fractivist fashion… the Hail Mary: Dimock. Really, Doc? A case so far off track that the people in question couldn’t prove it in court and only won a highly dubious nuisance award under appeal? She must have only read the headline bloopers. Not to mention, Dimock loves fracking!

This how the fractivist works and pseudo-environmentalism is advanced. It’s enough to scare a citizen who knows little of the process to say no to drilling and that is the point, of course. Fractivists engage in this kind of poking to lure pandering politicians into enacting bans against the only energy source that is actually making a difference.

This happened when our “leaders” in Prince George’s County banned fracking, which was pointless to say the least. I’m disappointed to say another town has done the same thing. It matters this time because there is gas there. Friendsville, Maryland, voted 5-1 Tuesday to prohibit fracking within its borders. It was the same old rhetoric with scare tactics about trucks and construction thrown in as an extra measure. It’s bologna. Western Maryland has been all about coal, after all.

Maryland SM 08 40 Ritchie Trucking Excavating

Coal mine in Allegany County

Citizens in this area already have these trucks in and out, 24/7 and will have them forever – without natural gas. Natural gas does involve some initial disruption in an area not accustomed to truckers, but t is only at the outset. When drilling is completed on a given road, things return to normal, but with more jobs, cleaner air and enriched communities everywhere that natural gas is produced and then employed to heat homes and provide power.

It seems some Marylanders have no interest in trying to understand the impacts of fracking. They’re living in their own ideological fantasyland and holding the rest of us hostage.

Gina M. Angiola doesn’t have to work (her husband is also a doctor and is still working). They reside in Olney, in Montgomery County, where the median household income is $126,468 and there’s no shale gas whatsoever that is worth developing. The median income in Allegany County, in Western Maryland, where there is gas that could revitalize a community and supply gas to Montgomery County, is but $39,794. It’s only slightly better in Garrett County at $46,096. Gina lives in a county where 57% of homes are heated with gas and another 38% use electric power largely made with gas. She hasn’t practiced medicine for years but that hasn’t stopped her from putting on doctors’ clothing to practice hypocrisy.

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2 thoughts on “A Fractivist Puts on Doctor’s Clothes to Practice Hypocrisy

  1. I wonder how many of those upstate NY lakes are still dead from acid rain?
    The DEC of NY might have that info. They might even have a definitive cause by now? Maybe NG caused it, but my bet would be on coal.

  2. Pingback: The Center for Health, Environment and Justice Isn't

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