Did You Watch The State of the Union?
“I will not back down from … making sure that our food is safe and our water is clean.”
This quote from President Obama’s State of the Union speech last week expresses the very reason Food & Water Watch exists. It’s great to hear that the President supports our mission in such forceful terms. But when it comes to putting those words into action, he has room for improvement. Food inspection independent of corporate control is under attack by this administration, and frankenfoods are green-lighted. Food & Water Watch pushes back on these issues and we have had successes against a food industry that lobbies for profits over food safety. Public pressure on legislators and the administration is making a difference and we can turn the tide against these dangerous practices that the public does not want.
But the public’s need for clean water is another issue entirely. That’s colliding with the ultra-powerful fossil-fuel industry and their number one profit scheme for the 21st century — fracking. This is what the President had to say: “We have a supply of natural gas that can last America nearly one hundred years, and my Administration will take every possible action to safely develop this energy. Experts believe this will support more than 600,000 jobs by the end of the decade.”
This quote could have come from an energy company TV commercial. The President made no reference to ground water contamination or earthquakes or the problems of fracking fluid disposal. And we know the fossil fuel industry has overestimated job creation from fracking. The environmental toll and health risks are glossed over by industry just as they were glossed over in this speech. The public is opposed to fracking, but it will take a massive outcry to counter industry pressure.
You may have already signed this petition, but now you can get it to other people who already oppose fracking and to people who need to know the truth. This will be a long and tough fight, but with enough support, we can win this together.
The director of our water program, Emily Wurth, also had some thoughts on the SOTU speech.
Until next week,