Letters: Readers weigh in on issues of the day
Hydraulic fracturing tradeoffs
Comments on “Some fracking fiction faces the fracking facts” as appeared in Farmington Daily on June 19.
The fracking process produces oil and gas which is no different than the oil and gas produced the old fashioned way. The oil and gas produced by fracking creates the same environmental pollution that the old-fashioned way produced.
Compared to the old fashioned way fracking is more expensive. The mechanisms for horizontal drilling I assume are more expensive than the old fashioned drills that simply went straight down. Water in large quantities is transported sometimes for great distances to the well site. If the water itself is not paid for (who owns the water to sell it?) the fracking company has to pay the transporters. This is an expense. Fracking requires payment for the menu of toxic chemicals that release the oil and gas from the shale. This is an expense. The menu of chemicals gets mixed with the water during the underground process. One third of the toxic water stays down in the well. The other two thirds of the toxic water has to be transported to a disposal site. This is an expense. The site or sites for disposal deep under the surface have to be prepared. This is an expense. We are told that the water can be 80 percent restored for re-use. This is an expense. (I have been unable to find out why 100 percent of the water cannot be restored.) This restoration process is usually skipped, I believe, as it is cheaper to pay for clean water!
So, fracking compared to the old fashioned way, is more expensive and creates a large quantity of toxic-water – one third of which stays at every well drilled – and the larger part is transported and dumped underground and left there. None of the toxic water resulting from the fracking process can be used for "anything." It cannot be restored to the natural cycle. It is trash water – dumped deep underground forever (and hopefully will never cause any problems whatsoever.) The quantity of water left at the well site (1/3rd of total) which is presumed to be a "perpetually safe" place to leave it.
Because fracking is expensive, drilling has slacked off since the advent of low oil prices. A recent proposal to allocate funds for the fracking industry would be paid for by higher prices at the pump. (Farmington Daily Times, "Energy group hopes to reduce foreign oil imports," June 14.)
So, if horizontal drilling deep under the surface will cause no problems (as we are assured), if leaving toxic-water down there in the well will cause no problems (as we are assured), if dumping tons of toxic-waste-water in deep underground disposal sites will cause no problems (as we are assured), if removing water from the natural cycle by using the water for fracking will cause no significant depletion of the existent water resources (as we are assured) – why should we complain about higher prices at the pump? What a bargain!
And more on hydraulic fracturing
It seems there is fear and innuendo coming out of both the oil and gas industry and their adversary, the environmentalist. I don't believe all I read or hear from either one. The commentary by George Sharpe (June 19), got my attention. I respect Mr. Sharp's knowledge of the oil and gas industry. His detailed description of fracking, I think is truthful and should be read by both sides of the issue.
As Mr. Sharpe stated at the end of this lesson on fracking facts " The truth will set you free!" Well, George, the truths of fracking are equally disturbing as some of the false innuendos coming from environmentalists. How long can we re-arrange the geology of this land, and pump billions of gallons of fluids into the earth ? It won't happen in my lifetime, but I hope the development of alternative energy sources will set us all free to protect the earth and humanity.
ARs and mass violence
I find it of interest that U.S. Marine Eugene Stoner invented the AR-15 as a prototype for a military assault rifle. Stoner's model, we know, became the M-16. Stoner passed away; but his family has recently asserted that he did not intend the AR-15 to be available to civilians and that he'd be appalled today at the prevalence of ARs among our public.
I find it also interesting that trainees for our military services are required to lock up their assault rifles when they're not in use. Their lethality in inflicting mass casualties is too severe for this security precaution not to be mandatory.
Following the Orlando night club mass shooting, and during the upcoming presidential campaign, whether to ban or severely restrict availability of ARs will be a hot topic.
As citizens concerned with both our security and our rights, we should maintain level heads. To be sure, banning or restricting ARs will make mass murder with a gun more difficult. To be sure again, however such measures vs ARs cannot themselves extensively reduce attempts at mass violence.
To resolve the prevalence of mass violence (and, for that matter any form of violence) in the U.S. will require a deep, hard look at what's dysfunctional in our culture at large. For my part, I'm disturbed by the abounding incidence of sensationalistic violence in our entertainment media. I really have to say that we will have mass violence as long as we find gross violence to be entertaining.