Thursday, December 8, 2016

"Whose Water Is It? May 2016 article by Hilary Lambert

 "Whose Water Is It?" Hilary Lambert AJES 75 (3), May 2016  Click on this link to view "Whose Water Is It?" my article published May 2016 in the American Journal of Economic and Sociology 75 (3). Thank you.


Whose Water Is It?

Legal protection of the USA’s water resources was reduced
during the Bush-Cheney Administration (2000–2008), facilitating coal, oil,
and gas development at the expense of clean water. The “Halliburton
Loophole” in the 2005 Energy Act exempted all oil and gas development
activities, including fracking (hydraulic fracturing), from the Clean Water
Act, Clean Drinking Water Act, and other federal statutes. Two U.S.
Supreme Court rulings weakened the Clean Water Act’s protections of
headwaters, streams, wetlands, and other water bodies. In New York
State, communities faced with the imminent prospect of fracking by
energy companies organized. From 2008–2014, they prevented fracking
in New York. Water protection played a major role in energizing
community response, In 2015, a fragile, but resilient, ban was declared
statewide. In Kentucky, 150 years of coal mining resulted in pollution of
many waterways, with hundreds of stream miles buried beneath
mountaintop removal debris. Kentuckians have been pushing back since
the 1930s to protect communities, farms, and water quality. They remain
hopeful in the face of great odds. Urban populations making daily use of
cheap, clean water and fossil-fuel-powered energy sources have little
knowledge of these struggles. In rural America, the fight to protect
communities, lands, and waters from energy exploitation is lifelong.


*Executive Director/Steward of the Cayuga Lake Watershed Network, a watershed
protection and educational NGO in central New York State. AB, anthropology, Brown
University; MA, PhD, geography, Clark University. Taught at Rutgers University, Miami
of Ohio, University of Kentucky. Former editor of FOCUS (American Geographical
Society of New York). Associate Director of the Kentucky Waterways Alliance. Community
organizer on behalf of the environment for many years in Kentucky and New
York State.