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Obama administration OK's dumping 76 billion gallons of wastewater into Gulf of Mexico before quietly approving hundreds of offshore fracking permits


(NaturalNews) Over the course of his presidency, Barrack Obama transformed from a politician who spoke of the need to wean the country from its dangerous dependence on oil to one who boasted of how much he had done to boost domestic oil drilling.

Now documents obtained via a lawsuit reveal how the administration allowed energy companies to dump more than 76 billion gallons of toxic, radioactive fracking wastewater directly into the Gulf of Mexico -- and that's just in 2014.

Permission to dump came along with the more than 1,200 offshore fracking permits that the administration granted between 2010 and 2014.

RT.com writes, "The Obama administration is essentially letting oil companies frack at will in Gulf ecosystems and dump billions of gallons of oil waste into coastal waters," said Kristen Monsell, a lawyer for the Center for Biological Diversity. "Every offshore frack increases the risk to wildlife and coastal communities, yet federal officials have been just rubber-stamping this toxic practice in the Gulf of Mexico for years."

Radioactive waste legally dumped in ocean!

Fracking, formally known as hydraulic fracturing, consists of blasting high-pressure sand, water and a secret mix of toxic chemicals into bedrock in order to "fracture" it, allowing access to the oil and gas trapped within. The water used in the fracturing flows back to the surface, contaminated with fracking chemicals as well as radioactive isotopes, volatile organics and heavy metals that leach into it from the fractured bedrock. But because of trade secrecy laws, no one knows exactly what is in this wastewater.

"Nobody can say how much of any type of waste is being produced, what it is, and where it's ending up," said Nadia Steinzor of Earthworks, which is suing to try and force the Environmental Protection Agency to start tracking and regulating drilling waste.

This toxic brew is now being dumped by the billions of gallons into the Gulf of Mexico, courtesy of an administration that once promised to reign in the oil and gas industry.

The Center for Biological Diversity learned of the practice after suing the US Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management's (BOEM) for failing to reveal them following a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.

Both agencies were created by the Obama Adminsitraiton following the 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the worst oil spill in US history. Although the agencies were tasked with preventing such disasters in the future, a recent Government Accountability Office audit found that the BSEE has failed to even lay out policies or procedures for investigating violations.

In the pocket of Big Oil

The documents also revealed that the Obama administration has issued more than 300 exclusions exempting offshore fracking wells from environmental review, similar to the exemptions given to the Deepwater Horizon rig prior to the spill.

"The federal government certainly has no right to give the oil industry free rein to frack our oceans — or to keep coastal communities in the dark about this toxic industrial activity," Monsell said.

But such policies are unfortunately par for the course from a president who boasted to Congress in 2014 that "more oil [was] produced at home than we buy from the rest of the world—the first time that's happened in nearly twenty years."

In fact, US oil production his its highest point in 31 years in 2013. By the following year, oil reserves were higher than they'd been in 38 years.

This surge in domestic oil production and reserves didn't just come from offshore fracking, but also from a massive increase in offshore drilling of all kinds and a huge surge in oil and gas leases on public lands. The Obama Adminstration has also dramatically increased the speed at which drilling permits are approved, in part by lightening environmental scrutiny.

As energy companies and government collude to keep poisoning coastal ecosystems and freshwater, now might be a good time to stock up on clean, organic, nonperishable foods.

Sources for this article include:


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