DEFINITION: the shady, fly-by-night practice of extractingshale oil and shale oil gas from a property and -- after pocketing the profits -- disappearing into thin air before the extent of groundwatercontamination on the property (and on the neighboring properties) becomes known and the extractor held liable. Also, as is the case under the RICO statutes -- at least, in a more perfect world -- fracketeering charges could be brought against government agencies which collude with a fracker, when that agency "knew or should have known" that the fracker's practices would produce a legacy of groundwater contamination.
' I say we round up the gas companies, Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett and charge them all with racketeering.
' Or at least ... fracketeering.
' For the last several years, it’s been difficult for many Pennsylvania residents who live near fracking sites to understand the treatment they’ve received from the state DEP. Here’s the sequence: Gas companies set up a fracking site; residents’ drinking water suddenly, out of the blue, turns a smelly, cloudy brown; residents ask for help. DEP tests the water, then, months/years later says, “It’s fine. Drink it.” And the gas companies set up more sites . . .
' If racketeering charges can net various Gambinos and Latin Kings, and just the idea of it scare Michael Milken into pleading guilty to lesser offenses, then maybe a fracketeering threat could scare the governor of Pennsylvania and the Department of Environmental Protection into coughing up all the test results on water contamination, instead of merely a chosen few. Serial-polluting gas companies could be charged with “patterns of behavior” under FRICO (Fracketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act) and residents harmed could file civil suits and collect treble damages, which would be a heck of a lot better than what they’re getting now. '