tv Book Discussion on Frackopoly CSPAN August 14, 2016 5:00pm-6:01pm EDT
page. >> after tonight's talk we'll have time for questions from the audience. after which we'll have a book signing which will be here at this table. we have copies of "frack opoly" at the registers. this event i just -- thank you for buying books here at harvard book store. your purchases support the seize ex-we're placed to have booktv here when asking questions. please wait for the microphone, and thank you for silence your cell phones for tonight's talk. now i'm very pleased to introduce tonight's speaker. the found founder and exec with director of food and water watch. related to food, water and
fracking in america, adding it's well written, timely and very important. we're very pleased to bring the conversation to harvard bookstore tonight. please join me in welcoming winona hatter. [applause] and thank you to harvard bookstore and all of you for coming this evening. so in the mid 1990s, i worked on a renewable energy project called powering the midwest. we knew in the '90s that renewables were ready, that energy efficiency was ready, and we really needed to make a transition. so a couple of years ago we had been working on fracking at food and water watch for several years as the first national group to call for a ban on fracking, and i started looking at some of the statistics about how far we had come with renewables since the mid 1990s
when i worked on this project. and it was stunning. as of 2015, only 5% of our electricity is generated from solar and wind energy. we need to do so much better, and yet here in a state like massachusetts where you're not really suffering from fracking but you are suffering from all of the infrastructure to really promote fracking and to allow it to expand. so i decided to write this book because you really need to know where you've been to know where you're going with. and i wanted to see how we'd ended up with this monopolized oil and gas industry that has so much power over our democracy and over the future. so i started in, at the turn of the century, and i want to talk
about that history tonight. and i mean the turn of the 20th century, not the turn of the 21st century. but before i get started on that history, i want to know how familiar people are with fracking. maybe i should start by defining it and talking a little bit about the impacts and why we care that there's so much oil and gas drilling and fracking across this country. come on in, there's plenty of room. so fracking is a science fiction-like process that uses large amounts of water, toxic chemicals and very fine sand. it's injected deep underground in a well, and then over multiple stages, the fracking takes place. the wells are drilled about a mile, up to two miles into the
ground, and then a horizontal tunnel is drilled. again, it could be as much as a mile or two miles. then this toxic mixture of sand, chemicals and water is injected under very, very high pressure in multiple stages to fracture the rock, usually shale, and to release the oil and gas. and although we're talking a lot about fracking being for natural gas, since 2012 80% of fracking has been for oil. so what is this doing in the communities where the fracking is taking place? these are called sacrifice zones. there have been 140,000 wells fracked in the last about ten years, and today 17 million
people live within a mile of a well, and there's a lot of infrastructure to support fracking and the drilling and fracking for oil and gas. we're talking about thousands of miles of pipelines, compressor stations and processing facilities. now, compressor stations, the fracking and drilling itself, the processing facilities, all of these have a lot of impacts. they let a lot of chemicals, things like benzene, methane, a whole range of chemicals are emitted into the area that make the people living near those facilities sick. and there have been, since 2013, 62 studies written about the health impacts. 94% of those studies show adverse effects and health
impacts in living near where fracking is taking place or the compressor or processing facilities. now let's talk about the water. fracking uses 50 times more water on average than conventional drilling. so we're talking for one well anywhere from 1.7 million gallons to 13 million gallons in a state like texas. lots and lots of water is used, and fracking, of course, is going on in some of the driest places in the nation, places like texas that have been having a drought, california. and in a state like colorado, frakers are actually competing with farmers for water in auctions and having a real impact. now, when you're using injection to send all of this water and
chemicals and sand deep underground, a lot of it comes back to the surface, right? and it's bringing not just those fracking chemicals. and we know that although the companies don't have to disclose exactly what the chemicals are, we know that there are over 400 chemicals that are used, many of them carcinogenic or with other health effects. now, a lot of that water comes back up out of the wells. on average each day, about 10.5 billion gallons of water. that's a lot of wastewater. and it has to be dealt with. one of the ways that it's dealt with is by injecting it deep underground. it's called deep well injection. and we mow that that has its -- we know that that has its own impacts, right? earthquakes. and this isn't something i just made up for the book, this is something that the geologic service and a lot of authorities have now confirmed.
fracking wastewater injected deep underground causes earthquakes. and in a state like oklahoma, it's been really shocking. before fracking started, there were one or two serious earthquakes over 3.0 magnitude. today there are as many as 5,400 earthquakes, that's a recent figure, annually that are picked up on, with seismic equipment. huge number of earthquakes. and this is happening in multiple states, ohio, arkansas. there are a lot of other impacts, but you can see that this is something if you live in a community where fracking is taking place, you're probably concerned about it, your family members may be sick having rashes, nosebleeds and even more serious impacts. and that's why there's a big
movement that has sprung up in these communities against fracking and drilling which i'll touch on in a minute. but now i want to turn the more to the story about how we ended up with an extreme energy practice like fracking taking place, why we're continuing to use fossil fuels even when our global climate is threatened. and and as i was saying earlier, that story does begin at the turn of the 21st century when j.d. rockefeller -- who you probably learned about in a history class -- had rolled up the oil and gas industry, controlled 90 percent of it, used a lot of ruthless and unethical practices to drive other companies out of business and to really control a resource that was very important at the time. originally, it was used for
kerosene which people depended on for lighting their houses. now, around the turn of the century six -- well, some other companies formed. texaco and gulf were formed around oil found in texas, and in europe there were two other companies. i'm going to call all these companies by their modern names because with the mergers and acquisitions through history, they've gone through dozens of changes. so we're talking about some very important companies that have done a lot of lobbying and have a big impact on where we are today. so the european companies are shell and bp, the u.s. companies were formed after rockefeller's standard oil was broken up. and at -- you'll remember from history that teddy roosevelt
challenged the oil industry under rockefeller, and there was a proceeding, and they ended up breaking up standard oil, rockefeller's company, into about 30 companies. now, that's usually the end of the story. but, actually, that should be the beginning of the story because standard oil wasn't really broken up. standard oil got to write its own plan, and each of those 30 companies with exxon actually getting about half the value of the original standard oil, rockefeller maintained an interest in each one. and the three rockefeller companies were exxon, chevron and mobil. and, of course, we know exxon and mobil eventually were merged
and, actually, texaco and gulf also merged into chevron. so we're actually talking about four companies today. but for most, a good chunk of the 20th century, there were seven companies that were really almost dictating public policy. and the american companies had a huge impact on our tax policies, the research that was actually done for the oil and gas industry, the whole system of energy that we actually use today. and this got very dramatic in 1928, kind of the beginning of the oil and gas industry's drilling in the middle east. now, you'll remember that the middle east was created really at the breakup of the ottoman empire by france and britain,
and the oil industry was already there and interested in the resources. so in 1928 when oil was found in iraq, the big oil companies, the seven -- they're called the seven sisters named after a greek mythological story of atlas' daughters who fought amongst themselves. but there was ever an attack on one of them, they all gathered round and protected her. so they were nicknamed the seven sisters, and that's kind of how they behaved. so when this oil was found in iraq, there was a lot of overproduction. so the seven sisters got together in one of their cabals, drew a red line around the middle east, made an agreement amongst themselves that they would only go in and drill for oil as -- jointly. they would never go in alone. this was so that they could
watch one another. and that they would actually limit production, fix prices and break basic antitrust laws. now, soon after this agreement was made the three largest of the seven sisters -- exxon, bp and shell -- met at a castle in scotland and decided on a set of principles for how they would actually accomplish this price fixing and moving forward together to break basic antitrust and monopoly laws that we have in this country. and they met periodically after that. meanwhile, they were having a big effect on the rules that were being written and the laws that were being decided on prior to world war ii and then after world war ii.
but let me ten back a minute -- step back a minute and talk about the utility industry a little bit, because today we have this cabal of the oil and gas industry, the big electric and gas utilities and actually the banks -- which i'll get to in a little bit. but in, well, the oil try was rolling up and really dictating the rules around oil and gas drilling and discovery. there was a man named samuel insole who was doing the same in the electric utility and gas utility industry. he, he did something that's similar to what happened with the housing market many -- in 2008, 2009. he actually owned, had an ownership in about 5,000 gas and electric utilities in 30 states, but there was a holding company
structure or we would call it a multi-national corporation today, and the parent company kind of milked these utilities, charging them big rates and fees for services. meanwhile, he had investment companies, a number of them, and he sold the stock over and over and over again to these different utilities x. this all contributed to the crash of the great depression. now, i'm talking about this because it actually has a big impact on policy today. so when roosevelt came into office, there was a lot of activity around trying to curtail what the oil and gas industry was doing, what the electric utility industry was doing and then what the financial services industry at the time was doing. there were a couple of laws passed that i want to talk about because when they were repealed,
it really allowed fracking and the oil and gas industry to blossom and created these giant utilities. so the first one was kind of in the arcane law that you may never have heard of before. but what it did is it actually regulated electric and gas utilities, said they had to focus on their main business, that they couldn't gamble with ratepayer money, that they needed to have contiguous service operations. and it really dictated the structure of the industry, keeping it from getting too big to fail. so that was one law. it was called the public utility holding company act of 1935. but you don't really need to know that. but they weren't able to get natural gas included. in fact, that law a that i just talked about was probably the most controversial law in the early years of the roosevelt administration.
there were 600 lobbyists in washington lobbying against it, large sums of money were spent, and it passed by one vote. and they managed to keep natural gas out of it. so three years later they came back, and they were actually able to pass another law regulating the natural gas industry because a lot of consumers had been really ripped off x there were urban cities -- and there were urban cities that were angry and organizing to try to do something about consumers not having access to affordable natural gas which was very important for heating and for electricity generation in some places. so this law did something important important, it regulated the price of natural gas, and it gave the authority to a governmental body called the federal policy commission. and they used the cost of what
it actually, what the oil and gas industry had to pay to do to get the resource out of the ground and then a profit that they added to it which was between 5.6 and 6.5% over a 40-year period. pretty good for the times. so this was called cost-based regulation. well, the natural gas industry despised this. they also, electric industry despised the other law that i talked about. this natural gas act also regulated pipelines. so you just couldn't go around and build pipelines and get ferc to approve it. there was actually a process to see if the pipelines were necessary. people could be involved in the process. it was a lot more democratic. well, then there was a big debate for the next really til
the 1970s, and in the book i talk about a number of characters who played a big role in this. some of them are really villainous. many of them are big characters. one that comes to mind is bill kerr who was, first, governor of oklahoma and then a senator elected in 1948. big belly, wears a white suit, has a big ten-gallon hat on. i have some pictures of him. he's actually the great nephew of aubrey mcclendon. for any of you who actually follow this industry, he just died mysteriously. he was a big fracker at chesapeake and driven out of the company for bad behavior. so this is a relative of aubrey mcclendon. but, actually, every year kerr introduced legislation for the
oil and gas industry to do away with the natural gas act. every year for the next, well, til he died in 1963 from a heart attack while in office. there were other characters like john j. mccoy who's a favorite villain. he worked for the rockefellers' chase bank and was someone who for the next -- well, he worked as an adviser for nine presidents. he's part of that government that exists that's not elected but that's always there as an adviser. had a major impact on public policy in a lot of different ways that we don't have time to go into. but he was the antitrust, harvard-trained antitrust lawyer who time and time again stepped in to get the oil and gas industry exempted from from antitrust laws. a lot of the times they were just sneaking behind the scenes
to do this. and, you know, it matters. this has been a debate since the beginning of our country. remember thomas jefferson wanted to have a, part of the bill of rights, the right to be free of monopolies. and he didn't care about the price of gas or price of food. what he cared about was the political power that you get when you are such a large company that you're bigger than most countries. and that's what happened to the oil and gas industry. so big that really, especially after world war ii, they could just dictate public policy and laws. and remember that the amount of oil consumed, drilled for and consumed after world war ii doubled. and part of that was its use for plastic. and also, of course, the industry was able to make sure that it was used for lots and lots of other things that, other
sources of energy might have been developed. but they really were able to dictate a lot of how our tax dollars were used. so i want to now fast forward, because we don't have that much time. and i want to talk about what happened when these important laws were under attack and repealed. and i guess the story really begins -- well, we'll start it with the nixon administration. there were a lot of people in the oil and gas industry very concerned about the environmental laws that were beginning to be passed and the movement, student movement, the real changes in society. the oil and gas industry were concerned about the environmental piece of this. but you'll remember there was the warren court extending rights to people, categories of people who hadn't enjoyed those
rights before. there was the movement against the war. there was kind of a youth uprising. there were a lot of both conservative interests, conservative social interests and then a lot of corporate interests that didn't like to see how the country was changing. they helped elect richard nixon, and they also -- after richard nixon was elected -- he promoted some of the people who would weaken our democracy, people like louis powell who went on to be a supreme court judge. you may remember him. he's a supreme court judge that wrote the first opinion saying that corporations have the right, the same rights to participate in elections as people. he also wrote a very important memo, and if you aren't familiar with it, google it when you get
home. it's called the powell memo. some people call it the powell manifesto. and what he did was he was a very savvy man. he wrote out a plan for how to, how corporations could take back the democracy. and it was a long-term plan around how the most important institutions were actually going against corporate interests. he talked about the media, faith, the university, all of the major institutions were actually helping to support this rewriting of rules in the u.s. including the environmental laws. so this memo laid out a long-term plan for how to undo this, and louis powell helped raise a lot of money to make this happen including money from
the koch family, the coors family, the mellons, a lot of very conservative economic interests in this country. and they did, in fact, weaken our democracy and our political system by creating this. now, i talk about this in relation to the oil and gas industry because they were key to this. and when president carter came along, there was a lot of pressure on him. and, in fact, democrats started receiving corporate money at time as well because the campaign finance laws began to change. so one of the things that he did, you'll remember there was an oil problem because opec was angry about the u.s.' foreign policy. and so there were long lines for gasoline. and when carter came into office, one of the things he said he was going to do was have
a new energy policy. and he, he put together a plan to do away with the federal power commission that was regulating natural gas pricing in pipelines, created a new agency called department of energy that brought together all of the different federal agencies that were working on energy, and he created the federal energy regulatory commission that now oversees pipelines, electric wires and a lot of the infrastructure for energy. and it was given more and more power over the next decades. but that's really how it began. and also under the carter administration, the rules around natural gas prices and pipelines were rewritten. they called it natural gas deregulation. but what it actually did was
rather than having a process to look at the price of gas, see if it was fair for consumers, see if pipelines needed to be built, now this was all deregulated to let the markets select what the price would be and if pipelines should be built. but really what it was was rewriting the rules to benefit the oil and gas industry. and that natural gas deregulation was finalized under the reagan administration. and since that time we've had more than 936,000 miles of pipeline built since the deregulation of pipelines. and we have more pipelines being built all the time. and a lot of the pipelines today actually aren't -- we don't even know how many there are because states now govern this, and a
lot of pipelines respect regulated at the state level -- aren't regulated at the state level. the smaller lines called gathering lines. so there are many more pipelines. and if you count the ones that were built before deregulation, today we have about 2.5 million miles of pipelines in this country. and it's enough to circle the globe a hundred times. and now we're building another 40 years of infrastructure which is really hard to justify considering climate chaos and what we face in the future. the next thing that happened was electricity was deregulated or the rules were rewritten. they were rewritten in a way to actually incentivize natural gas and smaller natural gas plants. and more recently in 2005, we've seen a lot of other rules
changed to really incentivize practicing and natural gas. under the bush administration in 2009, the energy bill of, energy regulatory bill of 2005 was passed and it had three benefits for the oil and gas industry. one of which you're familiar with, the halliburton loophole which exempted the oil and gas industry from the drinking water act.
and today we now have 20 giant utilities that operate in this country and provide more than 50% of power. they use the all of the above strategy and they are encouraging fracking and really a party to it. and the other thing that changed in the energy policy act of 2005 dish didn't have the name quite right before -- is that it gave the federal energy regulatory commission that was created under the carter administration, new and big powers. it put ferc in charge of the environment, in charge of an important environmental law in
term's building new things. the policy act that requires an environmental impact assessment study be done to look at the environmental impact. so this agency that has almost never seen an oil and gas or electricity project that it doesn't love, now is in charge of doing the environmental assessment. and it also gave it the power of eminent domain. superseding what states and localities can do, and giving it the ability to condemn land for pipelines, interstate pipelines, for transmission lines, and it has really spurred the development of pipelines and fracking. so, i've spent a lot of my time tonight talking about the bad things. i'm going to end by talking about the hope and the good things. and i think that in the election you have been able to see that a
movement has been born around fracking. that's why we have candidates for the democratic nomination for presidency debating fracking. it's because a huge movement has grown up around this country. people are saying, we don't want to do what is just politically possible. we want to have a future. we want to keep fossil fuels in the fairground and don't want fracking and there have been some big victories. a ban in new york. a very hard-fought ban. a moratorium in maryland, and they're going back for a ban this year. your own senate has passed a moratorium, and we'll see what happens in the house and hopefully you'll have your own moratorium. there have been more than 500 measures, either bans, moratoriums or some local measure against fracturing
across the country. there are major campaigns taking place in about 15 states, including states like colorado, and california, where there's a lot of drilling going on, but there's an aroused citizenry, and i think it's really exciting that the movement is growing so big, and what we have to do for the future is really keep organizing and keep our eyes on the prize. we need to stop saying that renewables are going to come about because the market is going to do it. if the market was going to do it, it would have already happened. we need to fight for the public policies that are going to bring us a rue knewable future, that will allow to us use energy efficiency, going to save the planet for future generations witch don't need 40 more years of infrastructure and a climate
that is threatened and local communities that are threatened. so, food and water watch we look forward to working with folks to keep this movement going because i do know that we will be successful in the long term. so, we can do questions now. [applause] yes? >> okay, thank you. isn't it also true the price of natural gas is declining to historic lows? >> well -- >> and that the energy companiers are mostly on the verge of bankruptcy? >> i think when you look at the history of the oil and gas industry, this is one of the things that has allowed the consolidation. i don't think i mentioned that exxon is the largest fracker today. the four remaining oil companies
i mentioned from the beginning, chevron, bp and shell, they're all amongst the ten largest frackers and their history really is, boom, bust, and when there's a bust, they pick up a lot of smaller companies. so, i predict -- i would probably place a bet on this -- that within the next two years, the price of oil and gas will good back up unless we can really curtail what is going on now that industry wants to export oil and gas. remember, they're not -- first of all, it was for energy independence, and then when there was too much of it, they advocated for being able to export oil, which had been illegal since then 1970s. and they are lobbying to build liquefied natural gas plants that would also allow the export of gas. so, those prices will be going back up.
>> new supply sources? >> that really is the history of the industry. they'll export it and they'll get ahold of it. that's the kind of strategizing they did throughout the 20th 20th century, to -- they weren't always able to stop production, but i would predict that pretty soon, based on history, the price will go up. i mean, i have a graph of the actual ebb and flow of the oil industry, and it really is. it goes like this. another question? >> i live between cambridge and tulsa, oklahoma, and oklahoma now, besides being the tornado capital of the world, the earthquake capital of the world.
just in the past couple of years it happens almost every day, like a 3.0, 4.0. not anything like san francisco but it's amazing, and what very few people know is that actually from st. louis through texas, you have the new -- the last time there was activity on this is when all you had were teepees so even there were probably eight and nine richter type of earthquakes, it was like 1814, it knocked over a teepee and didn't matter. a lot of problem, you're talking about with the water, the wastewater, and the thing about it is, the industry is very, very powerful in oklahoma. there's so many people who are being badly impacted by this itch didn't realize -- i knew there was the problem with the fracking. i didn't understand why the water was getting bad, because a lot of these places -- talk about farms that are actually
using well water, and this is getting interest the well water -- getting into the well water. >> yes. thank you for your comment. >> i arrived late and at any time hear the talk but i have been -- locally in new york state involved in the anti-fracking movement and have a friend here involved in trying to stop a pumping station. but what i found in the rural communities it's also an issue of economic justice. you go to farmers market and talk to farmers about some of them are opposed, some for it, because it's difficult to survive. rural communities are disappearing no longer will be stewards of the land to fight this kind of thing. so there has to be a long-term strategy for economic viability of these communes. >> my last book is called food
olopoly and dressed hour our agricultural areas have been left with basically no hope for the future because of corporate allege culture and that's how the lanes men who go in and sell leases, they prey upon people. they were especially able to do it before people even knew about fracking. people are trying to save their family farm, but it's really harmed these communities. you look at a state like north dakota, that has had booms and busts from agriculture, and actually oil, too,, in the '50s, and so there's a lot of development when the transient workers come in. their population tripled in some areas. they build hotels, restaurants, what they call man camps, housing for these people, and it also brings a lot of crime and the lifestyle is really affected.
then when the price plummets, all that investment -- some of it is public investment for roads and other infrastructure -- it's gone. it's not a really a long-term strategy for economic development, even though some people do benefit in the short term. it also -- one of the things we see a lot of these commentses is the divisions. the people who had the ability to sell leases or sold leases and made money, and they're affecting their neighbors and the anger. there's a lot -- there are lot of sociological effects to this. we need to reorient our economic system so that we have people in rural communities able to make a fair livingle.
one reason i wanted to write around energy is because of the short-term threats and because we need to get energy right and we can create a lot of new jobs if we're doing an energy platform that is really about helping people and not helping a few dozen companies. that's because energy efficiency has huge potential. we need to retrofit just about every existing building. we need to have federal funding to get this underway. we have to reorient our political system, obviously to do this. but we decided to engage in this food at food and water watch because there's no choice if wore going to save our global climate, and we find that people really want to fight for what they want. they're tired of these incremental changes that might
have some effect and so we need to talk about the policy changes and then fight for them, and i'm excited we're even talking about fracking during the presidential election. we all know how difficult it is to get an issue to rise, and i have big hopes for even after the election for all of the really millions of young people who have been energized by current events. we're really at a historical moment. so we have to keep our hope up. but it includes having new policies for rural areas, too. >> yes, my question has to do with -- i think part of the group in massachusetts that has worked diligently for the past year and a half to stop one of five pipelines, one very close to where i live. permanently gone -- personally
gone to meeting from the supreme judicial court of massachusetts, personally warrant to warren and markee, with 40 e-mails and five or six meetings in their offices. thousands of signatures have been collected by -- and hundreds of other organizations, and what it always comes down to is the fit between new england, the local gas distribution companies, and ferc, which is made up mostly of oil and gas industry lobbyists. i have been looking at articles about the meetings held with mark celton, no on the energy studyboard, and it's a complete revolving door and i'd like you to delve into that. we have even had people in massachusetts approach the clerk commissioner from massachusetts, who refuses to meet with us but will meet in closed door meetings with the oil and gas
industry, her former cohorts. so please delve into that as much as you can and what can we all do to combat that system? because it is so thick. they probably call it thick first start. >> well, you outline a tremendous problem in our movement. i think we're going to over time have to fight to not reform ferr but to eliminate the agency and start over again with an agency that really is looking to at these issues and not doing the oil some gas industry's business, because what we have found -- we are with our 16 offices involved in a lot of local battles. what we found is that you can stop pipelines in states that have some kind of local process, it could be local permitting. i know in new york state there have been an l & g plant and pipelines stopped because the
decision was made by the state. when you have ferc making the decision, there's really -- they're not a democratic institution. they're doing the business of the oil and gas industry. nobody really knew much about them until this fracking debate started, and i would say that the problem that you have with your local electricity market and you mentioned the iso, that's all a result of the tee regulation of -- deregulation of electricity, creating a wholesale market so electricity could be bought and sold. we're going to have to get rid of the system and put into place actual mandates. i know it's not a popular subject but we need too speak the truth about this. the way that the system is -- has been created today, there's no way that you can really get the renewables and the energy efficiency development that you need. it's all been fixed.
so it's fix -- probably get rid of ferc. right now, while we're having this discussion, there's actually a coalition of some of the pipeline groups having a meeting. i think it's going to have to be a much broader coalition of all of these groups. there are people fighting pipelines all across this country, from the northwest to down in texas, not too far from el paso. all over the country. we need to get together to, first of all, take away their power of condemning land, and to begin to build the political power to have a different energy system and to actually get rid of ferc. we need a department of energy that actually creates the plan to get us off of fossil fuels and nuclear power. right? we don't need an agency -- i
mean, about 80% of what they have spent the department of energy over the last 30 years has been for dirty energy. we really need to have a whole new plan for energy, and i think a lot of it's beginning with this movement to ban fracking, and the global climate justice movement that wants to keep fossil fuels in the ground. >> in terms of the relative balance of evil and trying to find, like, a silver lining in the whole existence of fracking, i wonder what you make of the fact that for all of its problems, the fact is hat increased the u.s.' stores of natural gas, oil, accelerating the demise of coal. >> yes, but one thing i didn't talk about is the threat that natural gas -- we know oil is a threat because of carbon but there's a lot of recent science
looking at natural gas, and natural gas is mostly methane. 95% methane. it turns out that methane is a more potent greenhouse gas, the first 20 years after it's emitted, and of course the next 10 to 15 years surely by the next 20 years, we need to have a new energy system. so, natural gas is actually -- when you look at the threat to the global climate -- this is not me speaking. this is scientist at cornell good elsewhere -- actually a bigger threat to the climate in the first 20 years after it is emitted sin it's 100 times more potent than carbon is in the first 20 years. so we need to get off of natural gas. it's a bridge to nowhere, and a -- it's a bigger threat to our global climate, and you know what upsets me so much is the
idea we would be billing another 40 years of this infrastructure. the banks are literally investing and learning billions of dollars to build all of this infrastructure that will last for decades. that's why we know it's not a bridge fuel. this is just an excuse and a way to try to buy people into it, and you know, we need to stand up and say no. it is not -- it's a bridge to nowhere. one more question. >> i came in late as well, but in terms of -- you talked about something i'd like to discuss but the neglect shape which i -- methane but can you talk about the oil subsidies and the control they have. what can we do to go back to the -- do locally, where can we tap into, to kind of raise the awareness?
as you know the power vacuum owns the media. big oil, koch brothers 0, on and on but keep getting the subsidies and that is not moving towards renewables so that's one piece. they don't want to get off it even though we all know 30 years ago they knew about greenhouse gases and global warming. they knew about it. that's a whole other conversation. how do you address the subsidies? do you know people we can work with to approach that piece and then are there blogs? >> i think there's a whole social media and i won't call it underground. it's an alternative media system because we know that the consolidation in the media, in 1984 there were 50 major media organizations, and it was already consolidating. today there are six. and i have a chart in the book that shows the interlooking
boards of directors. so there is an alternative and i think we can give you that information if you talk to one of our organizers after this. i mean, there's a movement in almost every state and it has to be directed at building political power to those people who are elected, and we can't get them -- let them get away with this. and even here in liberal massachusetts, you have liberal members of congress, like your senator warren and senator markey, we have tried to get senator warren to introduce the bill that we were able to introduce in the house. we have 37 sponsors in the house. it's a bill to ban fracking on public land. pretty easy. not a real big ask. haven't had success with that. with either of your senators. so, i think one of the things you need to do here in
massachusetts is try to create some leadership that could be used in -- to begin with in the democratic establishment, because what we find is in a lot of the states where we're working with democratic governors, from rhode island, to pennsylvania, to colorado, to california, they are supporters of fracking, so we need to get our -- more liberal democrats with the program and then we can start working more broadly, and we need to do it right away. and the subsidies are shocking, and they have been going on for decades. i talk about some of the tax benefits, like the golden gimmick that been around since 1948 that gives american companies a tax benefit if they produce oil in saudi arabia. there's a lot of outrageous stuff that goes on and that's
because of their power. i will say that fracking itself, the technology that came together to allow fracking, many of them were actually perfected and paid for by federal tax dollars. so we do have a lot of work to do. but let's get these elected officials, especially the ones that say they're really representing us to do the right thing to begin with. and i'd also like to invite you all to get involved with food and water watch. i know there are lot of local groups but we really pride ourselves on fighting back, and taking -- creating a political space to actually do what we want to do with our future. and we have a lot of opportunities to get involved in local organizing on these issues, and would love to have you join our list, and in fact, if you aren't familiar with food and water watch, and would like to get on our list right away, i
could have you take out your phone and text frackopoly to 69688. -- supposed to have this -- piece of paper in front of me and i had a moment. so, 69866. text frackopoly to it. okay? thank you. [applause] thank you for coming. the book is available at the registers in the next room. we'll have the signing here at this table and i have a quick announcement that somebody left their keys in a cab and the cab driver brought them back. if you lost your keys in a cab, go to the informant desk. thank you.
>> everybody told me, there's nothing better than being a grandparent. the best thing that can happen to a person. heard that, heard that. but no one talks about this emotion. it is a kind of loving unlike any other but i know it's a surge of hormones. >> tell us about your research you did. how you kind of studied about the science of it. >> well, that was a big question. almost from the beginning.
what was going on with me? and i discovered a book called "the female brain," which i recommend. and she talks about the chemistry of women at every stage of their life. when their children, when they're teenagers and when they're mothers and the talks about grandmothers, and -- the grandmother part was very short, so i did what i would do if it were a "60 minutes" story and called her on the phone, and interviewed her, and she -- i said, you know, it's kind of crazy but i feel like i have fallen in love in the classic sense, and she said, you did because the pathway, the neurons of romantic love, boy-girl love, and the pathway for baby love is the same.
so, you are feeling something very similar. >> then two years later along comes chloe, right? >> and then along came two, and i thought, am i going to have the same feeling for number two? and i thought, i wouldn't because it doesn't happen twice. well, of course, it did happen twice. and i bonded with her, too. >> i want to show a picture of you and -- together going down the slide. >> more recent. i find that among the many changes that tapes in us -- this is both grandmothers and grandfathers -- that we cannot say no to our grandchildren. no matter how strict we were as parents. no matter how critical. no matter how much we were on their case. grandparents love uncritically. we love unconditionally, and we never say no.