The Good Ole’ Boy Extraction Club: The Pseudo-Patriotic and Pervasively Patriarchal Culture of Hydraulic Fracturing (Why Breast Cancer is the Canary in the Fracking Coal Mine)

Enclosed is a Susquehanna University presentation of parts I-II of a longer research paper I will be posting in segments here and on Raging Chicken Press over the next two weeks.

The title is: The Good Ole’ Boy Extraction Club: The Pseudo-Patriotic and Pervasively Patriarchal Culture of Hydraulic Fracturing (Why Breast Cancer is the Canary in the Fracking Coal Mine).

The first section of the paper profiles the links between fracking, benzene exposure, and breast cancer with particular focus on the egregious failures of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection to protect the public health–including women’s health. With recent revelations concerning the failures of DEP reporting, the manipulation of water testing results, and new policies that transfer responsibilities from DEP water-testing agents to higher level administrative appointments, Michael Krancer and Scott Perry, the public health is even more endangered. With DEP’s fresh disclaimer that they will not be responsible for insuring that the industry’s reporting is honest, thorough, and timely, it can only be concluded that we are that much more endangered by an agency that not only colludes by omission in patent fraud, but actively abets an industry whose practices generate the conditions of cancer. This is what I mean when I refer to “genocidal profiteering.”

The second section profiles the aftermath of Riverdale with particular emphasis, again, on the  failures of DEP to act on behalf of citizen’s complaints concerning the potential exposure to asbestos at the former Riverdale Mobile Home Community during the demolition of the park–and while three families were still living in the park. I endeavor to spell out the specific connections to gender and economic class with respect to asbestos exposure, the responsibility of Aqua America/PVR in the failure to obey federal statues that require testing for friable asbestos, and the failures of DEP to follow up to insure that demolitions stopped during the investigation demanded by a citizen.

The paper is a work in progress that includes as addition section III which explores two intimately related concerns of mine: (a) the recruitment of charitable organizations like Susan B. Koman by the fracking industry in order to greenwash and genderize what I argue is a fundamentally masculinist and patriarchal enterprise–mineral and metals extraction, and (b) the recruitment of women like Kathryn Klaber, Nicole Jacobs, and Rachael Colley as spokeswomen for the industry to similar ends.

I’d like to offer great thanks to Karol Weaver of the history department of Susquehanna University for inviting me to contribute to the fine tradition of their Women’s Studies program, and I’d like to thank Paul Weaver for the excellent work he did–and very speedily–on this YouTube.

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