Relatively new technologies to extract fossil fuels, like hydraulic fracturing (fracking), mountaintop removal, tar sands and deepwater drilling are making it possible to obtain them from places that were previously inaccessible. These methods, which we define as ExtremeEnergy, not only perpetuate our addiction to fossil fuel and its disastrous climate changing consequences, but on their own pose tremendous danger to the locations where the fossil fuel is mined and all areas through which it travels for processing. There have always been problems with energy extraction but the scale of these new methods is causing problems much faster and over a wider swath of the planet.
ExtremeEnergy methods include but are not limited to, blasting to remove the entire tops of mountains for coal (mountaintop removal), shattering bedrock with millions of gallons of water and toxic chemicals for gas (fracking), clear cutting forests and strip mining the land for the oil sands beneath (tar sands), and deep sea drilling for oil (deepwater drilling).
The ExtremeEnergy Collaborative
As Catskill Mountainkeeper has worked to ban fracking in New York, we have not only become aware of how much our fight parallels other fracking fights in the country, but also how similar it is to fights against all extreme methods of extracting, mining and processing fossil fuels. Our awareness led us to be a co-founder of the “ExtremeEnergy Collaborative”, an alliance of over 80 grassroots organizations that are each fighting the ExtremeEnergy methods that are specifically affecting their communities.
The Collaborative’s mission is to build a national movement to address climate change and promote a transition from the destructive fossil fuel economy to a new model based on conservation and efficient, clean, achievable, affordable and renewable energy alternatives.