While Organizations United for the Environment applauds our local elected officials for taking a stand against En-Tire's proposed tire burner for National Gypsum, we want to be clear that OUE has not called for a switch to natural gas for the facility's energy needs, a position some political leaders have promoted. We have articulated at every meeting, in every letter, and on every petition that our position is not to say, "Just go with gas and we'll be happy." The position of the organization has been that the tire burner must not go in and suggests that non-fossil-fuel types of energy be used instead.
While tire-burning is a clear and immediate danger to the people, river, farms and life itself in the Valley, extracting shale gas is an equally filthy and dangerous process that threatens water supplies and air quality, damages ecological integrity, and contributes to climate change. Promoting its use is the equivalent of saying, "No tire burner pollution in our backyard, but go ahead and destroy environments and communities in other areas where fracking takes place, as long as we don't have to suffer the consequences." This off-loads, out-sources and externalizes the environmental and public health costs on our neighbors elsewhere, which is for us a morally untenable position.
The OUE Tire Team strongly urges National Gypsum to see this as an opportunity to embrace innovative, non-fossil fuel energy sources and thereby be a model of positive corporate citizenship that safeguards the health of the human and Earth community and operates at the highest standards of moral and ethical conduct.
The Rev. Leah Schade, Member, Organizations United for the Environment