We recently got in touch with the Climate Summer Riders, a group of six college students riding across western Massachusetts in an effort to raise awareness for a bill that would prevent fracking in the state.
Their ride across the Pioneer Valley has as a goal to raise awareness of the environmental dangers of hydraulic fracturing or “fracking”. Fracking is a method of natural gas extraction that involves blasting water, sand, and chemicals at high pressure into the earth.
Though often painted as an environmentally friendly, fracking emits both carbon dioxide and the more potent greenhouse gas methane into the atmosphere. Fracking also causes groundwater contamination and requires huge, unsustainable amounts of water. Although fracking is not currently happening in MA, Western MA has shale rock that could be slated for fracking within the next few years.
The riders are working in these areas most likely to be targeted for fracking to educate and empower communities through events such as art projects, rallies, discussion forums, and letter-writing campaigns.
The main goal here is to advocate for State House Bill H788, which would ban fracking to protect MA drinking water. Banning the practice now would not only protect the state from future fracking efforts, but also make Massachusetts a positive example for the nation on this matter of great social and political import.
We’re wishing the Climate Summer Riders a safe and successful ride in their fight to preserve a healthy ecosystem in Massachusetts!