Poison Gas from Fracking Ecocide makes Texas Highway FM 1053 a Health Hazard

Along both sides of the 30-mile stretch of state highway connecting Fort Stockton with Imperial TX are posted more than 30 “Caution: Poison Gas”, “Caution: H2S Gas Present” and other warnings that “breathing while driving” here is a risky proposition.

CAUTION: POISON GAS | Too bad horses cannot read | Fracking Ecocide

Around 10am CT on Sunday 31 August 2014, record-holding long distance motorcycle rider and anti-fascist activist IronBoltBruce rode north from the West Texas Permian Basin oil town of Ft. Stockton on Texas highway FM 1053 carrying a 27-shot Western Family disposable camera purchased from Lowe’s Market he intended to use to take pictures of his grandson’s 13 acres located just south of Imperial. Instead, he exhausted his film supply taking pictures of the dozens of “Caution: Poison Gas Present” and similar warning signs he was alarmed to see pervasively posted along both sides of the road [many visible on Google Maps Street View: goo.gl/maps/GybWP].

CAUTION: H2S GAS PRESENT | Not May Be Present. PRESENT! | Fracking Ecocide

“Who are these signs supposed to protect?” IronBoltBruce asked. “The passengers of vehicles motoring through this poison gas gauntlet? If so, how should the drivers of those vehicles react? If a pregnant mother rolls up her windows, will she and her children in the back seat be safe or will it make no difference? And what about those whose vehicles have no windows? Should motorcyclists don gas masks before traversing Texas FM 1053?”

CAUTION: POISON GAS | Not Buried Pipeline. Not May Be Present | Fracking Ecocide

IronBoltBruce provides compelling empirical evidence that the ecocidal hydraulic fracturing oil well stimulation technique and shale gas extraction process commonly called “fracking” that has brought earthquakes to Arlington [bit.ly/1rMSm6Y] and contamination to Karnes City [bit.ly/1bIG8eb] is also polluting the air and ecology of the Permian Basin with hydrogen sulfide (H2S) and other fracking-related toxic gas emissions. H2S is a broad-spectrum poison that can affect humans and animals in many different ways. Exposure to lower concentrations can produce eye irritation, sore throat and cough, nausea, shortness of breath and fluid in the lungs. Long-term, low-level exposure can result in fatigue, loss of appetite, headaches, irritability and dizziness. Short-term, high-level exposure can induce immediate collapse with loss of breathing and a high probability of death [bit.ly/ZhXzwN].

CAUTION: POISON GAS | All along Texas Hwy FM 1053 from Fort Stockton to Imperial

That drivers, riders and passengers along Texas Highway FM 1053 are being exposed to H2S is a certainty. ClimateScienceWatch.org advises the other toxins they are likely to be inhaling include “…volatile organic compounds (VOCs) like benzene, a carcinogen; sulfur dioxide and particulates; carbon monoxide; and carbon disulfide. VOCs can mix with nitrogen oxides to create ozone. They can cause a range of ailments, some so serious the federal government has set worker safety standards [but] there are no clear standards to protect people living [or driving] near drilling sites [bit.ly/1qmxFmY].”

According to Weather.com, people who live close to or otherwise have extended exposure to “…oil and gas development – whether in Texas’ Eagle Ford, Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Shale or Wyoming’s Green River Basin – tend to report the same symptoms: nausea, nosebleeds, headaches, body rashes and respiratory problems. Public health experts say these shared experiences point to a pressing need for improved air monitoring [bit.ly/1bIG8eb].” But in a state where politics is dominated and politicians largely controlled by “Big Oil” [bit.ly/1cmPv0P], experts see little chance of that happening [bit.ly/1lXSPGU].

Long Distance Motorcyclist IronBoltBruce Rides Through 1,534 Miles of Fracking Ecocide in 22 Hours

Fracking Ecocide

A record-holding endurance motorcycle rider and biker activist experiences first-hand what America is sacrificing to maintain the myth of energy independence and other false promises of natural gas hydraulic fracturing.

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Tuesday 2 September 2014 marked the end of 5 days and 3,755 miles in the saddle for me. My two-wheeled trek began with what the Iron Butt Association should certify as my 55th IBA ride and 22nd Bun Burner GOLD 1500. The BBG1500 requires a documented ride of at least 1,500 miles in 24 hours or less, and in this case I covered the 1,534-mile distance from Miami Beach Florida to Del Rio Texas in 22 hours and 1 minute.

At 8:07am ET Thursday 28 August 2014 I logged a gas receipt in South Beach to mark the start of my ride up the Florida Turnpike through Orlando to I-75 North, then west on I-10/I-12/I-10 through the Panhandle, Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana into Texas, where from San Antonio I continued west on US-90 arriving in the border town of Del Rio at 5:08am CT the next morning.

As a Native Texan exiled in South Florida, I have ridden deep into the heart of the Lone Star State and back again many times. And like many times before, the weather was warm and dry from end to end so I rode the entire stretch with my face in the wind. But unlike any rides of the past, this time riding mostly lidless and always shieldless from SoBe to South Texas exposed me to more than just sunshine and starlight:

Hidalgo – my 1999 Harley-Davidson FXDS – has a stock 4.9 gallon fuel tank which requires me to stop and refuel every 2 to 3 hours. And at almost every pit stop from Okeechobee on, I had to take my faded blue bandanna and wipe off a thin film of some kind of gunk that was collecting on my shades. What was coating my sunglasses and no doubt entering my lungs I can’t say, but when I typed “substances found “ into a search box Google quickly added “suspended in the air”

https://www.google.com/search?q=substances+found+suspended+in+the+air

… and when I typed “pollutants in “ Google’s recommended completion was “the air”:

https://www.google.com/search?q=pollutants+in+the+air

The air was different – and so was the sky. I’ve ridden west into more sunsets over Louisiana than I care to count, but the skies over Hammond around 7:00pm that Thursday simply did not look like they used to. The sky was still basically blue, the sparse clouds basically white, and the sun setting behind them basically yellow with pink glows and red radiants – but the colors were all softer or milkier than, and the clarity and contrast not as sharp as, they used to be. I can’t really put into words what I saw or why it seemed different, but the the impact of pollution on sky colors may explain it:

https://www.google.com/search?q=pollution+impact+on+sky+colors

By the time I rode across the Sabine River bridge into Sweet Mother Texas the sun was completely down and the light of a crescent moon somewhat obscured what might otherwise have been a star-filled night sky. But after crossing over the backbone of the ongoing fracking ecocide that is the Eagle Ford Shale Play, I was reminded once again that what filled the cool night air was not starlight:

http://stories.weather.com/fracking

The beard on my chin is about 4 inches long and normally white with a touch of gray in color. But after completing my ride and checking into single-star accommodations on the Del Rio US-90 strip, the beard I saw on my soot-covered face in the mirror was as black as asphalt! It took a whole bottle of motel shampoo, most of a bar of motel soap, and several minutes of scrubbing to get all the sticky tar-like goop out of my matted whiskers. When I was finished, the rinse water in the sink looked as nasty as backed-up sewage. And thinking about what the lining of my lungs looked like has made me mad enough to march:

http://peoplesclimate.org/march/

I know it takes oil to keep my Harley on the road. But if we have to poison the land we love, pollute the air we breathe, and condemn our grandchildren to life in a Mad Max ecological wasteland to produce it, I’d rather ride a horse.

IronBoltBruce

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https://twitter.com/search?q=%23fracking%20%23ecocide

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