1980’s Captain O.J. Readmore’s message was, “Reading is where it’s at.” When large oil corporations see signs of “Private Property,” they’ve come to read that’s where the oils at. What can landowners do when large oil companies read something else into their “Private Property” signs, aside from the notice it was meant to convey?
What do you do when you encounter a bully or have your property stolen in North Dakota? In the 1980’s, McGruff the crime dog showed us to report thieves and bullies to authorities and “take a bite out of crime.” Today in North Dakota, it is the authorities of government and judiciary positions that are being the bullies or stealing the property. A corporation is said to have absorbed private owners’ mineral rights and their consent wasn’t needed since the “mega-unit” held the majority. Burlington and the federal government own the “mega-unit”. (Sontag, 2014)
Big oil companies have intruded on state park land in North Dakota. What will happen when fracking causes a forest fire and what will they use to put the fire out when their water spreads fire? Smokey the bear once taught us “only you can prevent forest fires.” You can’t prevent fracking from mixing gases into the water.
What can North Dakotans do about the pollution that’s a byproduct of the oil boom? Woodsy the owl taught us to “give a hoot and don’t pollute.” They have the hazardous radiation of used oil filter socks that are dumped illegally. Contaminated water is known as saltwater, it doesn’t sound nearly as dangerous as the toxins and gases it’s filled with. Fracking brings “saltwater,” careful not to light a match near it, since it will catch fire.
The Migratory Bird Treaty Act wouldn’t be able to protect Woodsy Owl today, since any harm done would be considered an accidental consequence. In corporate America actions continue with a full understanding of what the consequences will come, so often leading to “accidents.” If Woodsy Owl, McGruff the Crime Dog, and Captain O.J. Readmore are still around, I wonder what type of Public Service Announcement they could put together for those involved in the oil boom. Environmental activist, Lopi LaRoe, created a message for Smokey the Bear on fracking in 2013, “Only you can prevent faucet fires.” She was served up a lawsuit from the US Government for that one. (Rugh, 2013)
Rugh, P. (2013, 05 07). Forest Service seeks to silence Smokey the Bear over fracking. Retrieved 11 28, 2014, from Waging NonViolence: http://wagingnonviolence.org/feature/forest-service-seeks-to-silence-smokey-the-bear-over-fracking/
Sontag, D. (2014, 11 22). Where Oil and Politics Mix. Retrieved 11 28, 2014, from New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/11/24/us/north-dakota-oil-boom-politics.html?hp&action=click&pg&module=photo-spot-region®ion=top-news&WT.nav=top-news&_r=0