I am sure that most know about the recent illegal dumping of waste fracking fluid into the Mahoning River and the concern it caused. State Rep. Robert Hagan, D-Youngstown, was apoplectic over the spill, and the local anti-fracking groups were lighting the tar pots and gathering feathers.
When I heard about the dumping I was relieved to see that the various regulatory agencies had been notified, were working on a clean up and were planning on punishing those responsible. The ''Stop Fracking Ohio'' folks were not so easily satisfied.
For them, the spill served as vindication of their anti-fracking agenda. They won't be satisfied with a cleanup and punishment, they want to put a stop to the drilling and the fracking. In fact, they are circulating petitions to have a fracking ban in Youngstown put on the ballot.
A visit to their Facebook page shows a video of one of their events. A dozen or so of them met at the river by the old B&O station in Youngstown to have a ceremony of sorts.
There was a lady pastor and a priest saying prayers and making wishes for the sake of the Mahoning River. One of the prayers was of the ''call and response'' type as in ''Help us O' Lord,'' but without mention of the Lord.
After a man dressed in a clown suit said a few words, a lady took center stage to ask everyone to write their wishes for the river on pieces of paper that she was going to place in a bucket of compost to be used in planting a special tomato plant. Next, a gentleman read a letter of apology to the people who lived downstream. He folded it up and put it in a plastic gallon jug then proceeded to throw it into the river. Because the current was virtually nil, it just kind of floated around looking very much like the kind of pollution they would normally be angry about.
Putting aside for a moment the humorous aspect of these people, it's important to know who they are. They are the same people who show up to block the construction of every energy project in the country.
They'll protest against nuclear power plants, coal fired power plants, oil pipelines and dams. They oppose most development and despise corporations, except Apple. They are the Occupy Wall Street people and the anti-war crowd. Though they occasionally attract people who are genuinely concerned about the environment, their true agenda is far more than clean water and air.
For the most part, the active environmental groups are led and directed by hard-core leftists who long ago decided the movement would make a good vehicle to fight against America's capitalists and corporations. Notice that when President Obama appointed a ''Green energy czar,'' he selected Van Jones, who had to leave the post because of outcry when he was ''outed'' as a self-proclaimed communist.
These groups like to pose as the little guy fighting against the wealth of giant corporations, when the truth is anything but. Many of these groups are richly funded by very wealthy leftist benefactors along with some Arab partners who are in a panic over the possibility of losing a lot of ''petro dollars'' should America begin to seriously tap her fossil fuel riches.
Consider, for instance, Matt Damon's anti-fracking movie ''Promised Land,'' which received $15 million in funding from the United Arab Emirates. It should be clear why they are against fracking.
You have to ask yourself; if these environmental groups weren't so tightly associated with radical leftists, wouldn't you find conservatives like me, who are concerned with the environment joining them? If you have any doubts about their political alignment, engage them in a conversation. It won't take you long to find out that the people who lead them are far more interested in harming corporations than they are in saving the environment.
It is crucial that the anti-fracking crowd not succeed; the future prosperity of the entire region is at stake. Will there be some environmental damage due to this new method of tapping the vast wealth beneath our feet? Yes, of course, but it will be inconsequential compared to that done by the steel industry, and well worth it.
Moadus is a Girard resident. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.