Frackademia at U Tennessee Reveals How World Works
Lease Forest For Fracking, Enrich Governor's Family
Going beyond the old "Tobacco Playbook" (piping the tune for the payor), the University of Tennessee has taken the game to a whole new level to study "best practices" for fracking. The elite and the state operate as one -- until we share Earth's worth. This 2013 excerpt is from DeSmogBlog, June 11.
by Steve Horn8,600 acres of the Cumberland Forest owned by University of Tennessee-Knoxville will be leased off to the oil and gas industry and one of the top financial beneficiaries will be the family of Republican Gov. Bill Haslam, who sits on UT-Knoxville's Board of Trustees.
Gov. Haslam, the former Mayor of Knoxville, took $398,110 from the oil and gas industry before his Nov. 2010 gubernatorial race victory.
The Haslam family is an oil and gas family through and through, standing to profit immensely from a fracking boom in Tennessee and nationwide.
The Haslam family owns Pilot Flying J truck fueling stations, Western Petroleum, and Maxum Petroleum. Both Western and Maxum are major suppliers of fuel and lubricants for fracking operations. Pilot Flying J is the nation's No. 1 retailer of diesel fuel and is the 6th most profitable corporation in the U.S., earning over $29 billion in 2012.
Bill Haslam's father, Jim Haslem - a co-chair of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's Tennessee campaign and former member of the UT-Knoxville Board of Trustees - gave a $32.5 million donation to UT-Knoxville in 2006. It was the largest ever private donation to the university from an individual.
Bill's brother Jimmy was the college roommate and one of the "best friends" of climate change "skeptic," U.S. Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) while attending UT-Knoxville, also serving as Corker's chief fundraiser during his successful 2006 run for the U.S. Senate. Jimmy is also the owner of the Cleveland Browns, which he bought for $1 billion in 2012.
The Haslam family is set to cash in on the arrangement, coinciding -- perhaps not coincidentially -- with ongoing UT System budget cuts. After all, the cuts doled out by Haslam serve as the rationale for the necessity of new revenue streams like fracking on UT-Knoxville's portion of the Cumberland Forest.
To read more
JJS: If you want a healthy environment and a just society with prosperity for all, you have no choice but to stop letting a few hog all the profit from land and resources. That spending for nature by the members of society is a stream of spending that now supports the hierarchy. But if redirected into everyone’s pockets it could support a veritable paradise on Earth.
Editor Jeffery J. Smith runs the Forum on Geonomics and helped prepare a course for the UN on geonomics. To take the “Land Rights” course, click here .
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