Fracking: A new high in scaremongering

(A condensed version of the following letter appeared in the 3/4/12 Longmont Times-Call.)

President Obama’s anti-capitalistic agenda of killing our nation’s oil and gas industry is finally being felt locally as nervous politicians buy into the exaggerated fracking scare by issuing frantic moratoriums as if this practice will surely bring the World to an end tomorrow, when we should all know that this threatened destiny is simply not true. The big, bad oil companies—which sell members their gasoline–drill because they own or lease the mineral rights and Colorado already has pretty stiff rules regarding how and where they can drill (according to Gov. Hickenlooper, himself a former geologist) including the use of hydraulic fracturing chemicals. And of course, Obama’s act of stopping the Keystone Pipeline and its 20,000 jobs is never mentioned in any of the anti-fracking coverage or accompanying editorials.

Talk about infusing dangerous chemicals, we don’t hear a peep about using chlorine to help purify our drinking water and treat our sewage.

Why do they want to drill around here, gasp! IMBY? Because we sit atop the Wattenberg oil pool, that’s why.

Reflecting the fracking scare, Erie officials became upset over a study showing that levels of butane, ethane and propane in Erie’s air were “large.” But then, on down in the same news story, the bearer of bad news, a scientist from Boulder, backed off by saying the data don’t definitively show that drilling is the cause. Well, duh.

My wife and I enjoyed living in Erie for four years, 1998-2002, despite the occasional smog which undoubtedly drifted in from Denver and Boulder. But far worse, if we’re into scaremongering, right there in the middle of Erie is a huge, active regional landfill which covers the countryside and nobody knows for sure precisely what is leaking out of it, and it’s not far from the new high school.

The local press is letting us down. We need to know more about ROAR, who they are and who is financing them.

Percy Conarroe
(Retired editor-publisher of Colorado small-town newspapers.)

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