Oil Industry Illegally Dumps Fracking Wastewater: Déjà vu Censored 2016

Censored 2016 argued that the story “Oil Industry Illegally Dumps Fracking Wastewater” was ignored by the corporate press. The story originated from two October 2014 articles published by Dan...

Censored 2016 argued that the story “Oil Industry Illegally Dumps Fracking Wastewater” was ignored by the corporate press. The story originated from two October 2014 articles published by Dan Bacher of IndyBay and Russia Today. The story focuses on how chemical filled industrial water is being dumped into California’s drinking and agricultural water. Since April of 2015, the corporate press has not covered the “Oil Industry Illegally Dumps Fracking Wastewater.” However, the independent press has covered the story.

Censored 2016 argued that the story “Oil Industry Illegally Dumps Fracking Wastewater” was ignored by the corporate press. The story explained how the US oil companies have been illegally dumping fracking wastewater into Central California aquifers. Fracking is “ the process of drilling down into the earth before a high-pressure water mixture is directed at the rock to release the gas inside.” This requires a large amount of industrial chemicals which are then left to leak into the ground water. This has negative consequences on California’s clean supply of water. Three billion gallons of wastewater  have been dumped into California’s water supply. That water is consumed by the public through drinking water and the agricultural products produced by Central California’s large farming community.

Since April of 2015, the corporate news coverage of “Oil Industry Illegally Dumps Fracking Wastewater” has been scant. In May of 2015 the Los Angeles Times released an article discussing the growing concern about fracking water in Central California. In January 2016, Huffington Post also released an article that listed California’s reliance on fracking water as one of the Golden State’s water related problems. However, there has been no in-depth corporate coverage of the danger’s posed or actual impact of fracking water on California’s water supply.  There have been numerous stories, although incomplete and sometime misleading, about how government inaction and corruption has led to water pollution in Flint, Michigan. However, how corporate corruption and government inaction work in tandem to pollute California’s water supply remains largely uncovered.

Since April of 2015, the independent news coverage of “Oil Industry Illegally Dumps Fracking Wastewater” has been extensive. Independent outlets the OB Rag  and San Diego Free Press have emphasized the negative impact of fracking and wastewater on wild life and fisheries in San Diego. While Counter-Punch, The East Bay Express, and more have explained that California Governor Jerry Brown’s continued appeasement to oil company pollution has led to him receiving the Cold, Dead Fish Award  for the fourth year in a row. The award acts to illuminate how his policies and inaction contribute to environmental degradation. Lastly, Mint Press and Anti-Media have published articles that emphasize the relationship between fracking water and the California drought. These articles have noted that as the drought worsens the polluted water crisis in California because as less and less clean water is available people increasingly rely on polluted water.

Censored 2016 argued that “Oil Industry Illegally Dumps Fracking Wastewater” was ignored by the corporate press. The story is significant because California’s drinking and agricultural water are polluted by these practices. However, since April of 2015, the corporate press has not covered the story. There have been numerous stories, although incomplete and sometime misleading, about how government inaction and corruption has led to water pollution in Flint, Michigan. However, its has been the independent press that provides actual perspective and news worthy information about the California water crisis to its consumers.

Student Researcher: Jack Meyers

Faculty Evaluator: Nolan Higdon

California State University, Maritime Academy

Student Editor: Justin Lascano (Diablo Valley College)

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