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I support Food & Water Watch simply because I have a family and want them to be healthy, happy and do not want anyone to take advantage of them.

Cassandra Nguyen

Issue Briefs

Briefs Found: 7
November 20, 2013

No Accounting for Taste: Natural Capital Accounting and the Financialization of Nature

Natural capital accounting is the latest effort to financialize our air, water, forests and land by putting a price on nature to save it.

April 4, 2013

U.S. Version – Bad Trade: International Forest Offsets and California’s Carbon Market

In November 2012, California’s Air Resources board auctioned off the first round of carbon permits for its voluntary cap-and-trade market, which officially went live on January 1, 2013. This initiative came out of California Assembly Bill 32, the Global Warming Solutions Act, which sets a goal of lowering greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020 (a reduction of about 30 percent).

January 17, 2013

Fracking: New York’s Food, Agriculture and Farms

The potential for widespread hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” threatens New York’s abundance of farmers markets, community-supported agriculture, and locally grown produce and food products. Fracking is a process that the oil and gas industry uses to extract natural gas and oil from shale rock formations buried deep within the Earth. It requires large quantities of water mixed with sand and toxic chemicals, which are injected underground at high pressure to crack dense rock and release oil and gas.

December 12, 2012

Pollution Trading: Cashing Out Our Clean Air and Water

The last 20 years of environmental protection have seen a steady shift away from many of the tried-and-true regulatory control approaches that force industries to implement increasingly more protective pollution abatement measures. We are witnessing a move toward market-driven off set programs that substitute trading for technology. With both air and water, industries are now being offered pay-to-pollute approaches that enable them to purchase pollution “credits” instead of working to reduce their harmful discharges. Of course, these market mechanisms come with a whole host of loopholes and liabilities.

December 4, 2012

And the Value of Nothing: Alternatives to Gross Domestic Product and the Financialization of Nature

Whenever you read a report or hear on the news that the economy is growing, what you are hearing is that the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is growing. But while GDP measures economic activity, it does not measure the distribution of the wealth created by that activity, or the quality of our air and water, or the quality of our schools. Yet, when we hear GDP is growing many of us believe that the country is doing better than it was. Given that economists, politicians and the media treat GDP this way, it is no surprise that we think this way.

September 26, 2012

Fracking, Climate Change and the Water Crisis

Despite the alarming water crisis the world is facing, private interests are polluting, exploiting and selling water — a resource essential for all life. A 2009 publication, sponsored by the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation and several for-profit multinational companies, predicted that by 2030 global freshwater demand would exceed available supplies by 40 percent. In addition to the increasing pollution and overuse of the available freshwater supply, climate change will exacerbate water shortages worldwide. In fact, a UN-Water report said, “…climate change is expected to account for about 20 percent of the global increase in water scarcity.”

November 15, 2011
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Exposing the Oil and Gas Industry’s False Jobs Promise for Shale Gas Development: How Actual Employment Data Show Minimal Job Creation

The oil and gas industry is aggressively promoting the expansion of shale gas drilling in the United States. Over the past decade, oil and gas companies have developed new fracking technologies to extract gas from shale, a previously unprofitable source, leading to a resource extraction rush referred to as the “natural gas revolution.” The Marcellus Shale is projected to become the largest source of gas produced in the country and has been a focal point of the industry. However, shale gas drilling blowouts and explosions, drinking water contamination, wastewater and drilling fluid spills and leaks, and local air pollution have caused environmental problems and led to growing public resistance to the practice across the country. In response, the oil and gas industry has promoted the supposed economic benefits and job creation potential of shale gas drilling for communities. Economic studies by industry, industry-funded academics and ideological think tanks claim that shale gas development will generate enormous economic benefits. One study claims that developing the Marcellus Shale alone could create more than a quarter of a million jobs in the coming decade.