I want to answer – why am I covering the story of hydraulic fracturing protests in Pungesti Romania? I normally
cover electric vehicles, why am I suddenly covering fracking in Romania?
To me these issues are tied together. Generally speaking, hydraulic fracturing is a symptom of Peak Oil. The resources for “conventional oil” have already gone past their peak of production, meaning it’s now harder and harder to find normal conventional oil, and the fossil fuel companies are having to go further afield, ocean drilling at deeper depths, new fracking techniques, etc, etc, just to find more fossil fuel resources. In turn, the fossil fuel companies are doing this because we collectively are continuing our embrace of fossil fuels rather than switching wholeheartedly to clean renewable energy technologies, and electric vehicles.
The cost for continuing the use of fossil fuels in the modernized world, is that the fossil fuel companies are having to increase use of techniques like hydraulic fracturing.
Further, I want to shine a light on the externalization of costs and who it affects. The side effects of hydraulic fracturing are (supposedly) earthquakes, poisoned water systems, huge use of water resources, and more. An externalized cost occurs when one organization (like a fossil fuel corporation) does something (like frack some farmland) that causes a side effect, and the cost of that side effect is paid by other people rather than the one who did the deed.
The Romanian country-side will be the recipient of externalized costs unless hydraulic fracturing is stopped in that country.
It’s not exactly about Romania itself but the overall pattern that we collectively are enjoying the continuation of the fossil fuels bonanza on the back of hydraulic fracturing and the negative environmental consequences. Romania’s protest against hydraulic fracturing is serving as a useful lens to explore how this same story is unfolding not only in Romania, but elsewhere.
Finally, my partner is Romanian, we spent a month living in Romania last summer visiting her family, and I dearly love the people and the country.
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