A key figure behind New York’s statewide ban on hydraulic fracturing says that losing out on oil and gas jobs is no big deal because the industry only creates work for women as prostitutes and hotel maids.
In an April 6 lecture at the University of Pittsburgh, biologist Sandra Steingraber of New Yorkers Against Fracking described the fight over oil and natural gas development as a feminist issue.
“Fracking as an industry serves men. Ninety-five percent of the people employed in the gas fields are men. When we talk about jobs, we’re talking about jobs for men, and we need to say that,” Ms. Steingraber says in a video posted on YouTube by the industry-backed group Energy in Depth.
“The jobs for women are ‘hotel maid’ and ‘prostitute,’” she says. “So when fracking comes into a community, what we see is that women take a big hit, especially single women who have children who depend on rental housing.”
Supporters of the industry swung back by citing a 2014 report from the American Petroleum Institute, which found that women filled 226,000 oil, gas and petrochemical industry jobs, or 19 percent of those jobs.Read more by clicking here.
However Steingraber may qualify her comments, it is probably fair to ask what place someone who is willing to completely toss aside facts in order to make such an incendiary comment in support of her ideology could possibly have serving as a peer reviewer on a crucial report reviewing hydraulic fracking for the state of New York. Of course, there are plenty who would probably say that it makes perfect sense to have an anti-drilling activist peer review a study when you have already made up your mind that you were going to ban drilling and tailored the study to support that viewpoint.
Regardless of how you may view the idea of having a diligent anti-drilling activist peer review research in that area of study, there can be no doubt that the many women who do have good jobs in the oil and gas industry have valid reason to be offended by Steingraber's comments.
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