Stitching up a Landscape
We pass a dairy farm on evening walks. Tonight Becky and I gather with cows near the spot where a natural gas distribution line dives beneath their pasture. Surely my understanding of this event far surpasses that of heifers; they are not tangled in the meshes of politics or the price of oil. How much more than cows do I know of this little view? I do know of our abundant gas deposits. I know that industry has mobilized to frack the stuff out of the ground. I hear that it will be cheap soon. This iridescent pipe fifty yards from my house is the first tangible evidence that the neighborhood is implicated in this particular story – the story of cheap fuel. Surprising really, how quickly the tale has unfolded. Unfinished narratives concerning the destruction of groundwater and aquifers and the inevitable wastewater injection of billions of gallons of toxic slurry pumped back down into the earth – are still being debated here, town by town. This one, the tale of cheap gas, has trumped the others. It has been completed – the pipes are in.
Viewed from above, the fields appear stitched by a yellow cord, a filament that will plunge into the earth and reemerge miles east of here.