Industry can claim fracking hasn’t polluted water because when they do pollute someone’s water, and are caught, the landowner sues. Then the guilty company requires the polluted family to sign a non-disclosure agreement for compensation. It’s extorted silence, really.
Extortion is the word that popped into my head when I read this article:
Bloomberg: Drillers Silence U.S. Water Complaints With Sealed Settlements
By Jim Efstathiou Jr. and Mark Drajem
June 06, 2013
“We are transforming our energy infrastructure in this country from burning coal for electricity to potentially burning a lot of natural gas,” Aaron Bernstein, associate director of the Center for Health and the Global Environment at the Harvard School of Public Health, said in an interview. Non-disclosure agreements “have interfered with the ability of scientists and public health experts to understand what is at stake here.”
So, I looked up the definition of extortion to make sure it fit.
The obtaining of property from another induced by wrongful use of actual or threatened force, violence, or fear, or under color of official right.
Extortion is often used by organized crime aka the mafia. Racketeering is another mafia word.
We need a Congressional investigation! Congress has the power to subpoena these sealed non-disclosure agreements and to order the gaged victims to speak.
UPDATE: In some cases, a whole community has been silenced by these non-disclosure agreements. One example is the ABCAlliance. That community collected and shared a great deal of information about the impacts they suffered and that information has helped others all across the country.