Printed Letters: Aug. 1, 2014

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WELL said Gail Bradford! Wind, Solar, Coal, Fracking, all supply our nations need for energy, we can’t grow without them. Mr.Bright

I doubt that new carbon rules will mean we have to pedal bikes to make coffee or run the fan, and such rhetoric either intentional or not is fear-mongering.  Of course we should regulate oil and gas drilling and of course this industrial activity can have significant impacts.  New deployments of technologies require updated regulations as do other changing circumstances—like activity moving into populated areas, measurements showing massive methane leakage; groundwater and surface water impacts; earthquakes from waste disposal (if not fracking itself); etc. That is just good sense.

obviously Mr. Kolbenshlag ISN’T in the Fuel or energy business. Oil and Gas are regulated as high or higher in Colorado than ANY other state in the Union. If the people in Washington DC in the EPA were so busy kiss Obama butt and had actually sunk a piece of pipe in the ground they would know that. THEY the EPA and the people watching the Energy industry’s are the ones predicting an escalation of costs in the immediate future. Surface water impacts are still being studied, anyone making statement about them hasn’t looked at the facts and hasn’t studied the problems enough to know what the outcome will be. Not wishing to live in “high density populated areas” and being in a rural environment most of my life I know that most people living in rural situations are 50 times more the Stuarts of environment than most any city folk are. Fracking and it’s standards change monthly with heavier and heavier regulation. Even the “0” in Washington has given the positive spin on how much more independent “Fracking” has added to our Energy independence, when the comment suits him and his agenda. The good sense is to not listen to him but to people that deal with actual jobs of working with energy collection every day. You will not find a more competent group with more attention to the environment than that.

While Gail Bradford’s timely letter – “Want to regulate fracking?  Learn to live without energy!” – touches on valid themes in the on-going statewide debate over indiscriminate hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”), it also distorts purported “facts”.

Thus, first, even if “no one in the energy industry wants to harm anyone”, its record is replete with unintended “harm” – e.g., leaks, spills, fires, explosions, and earthquakes.

As a result, informed segments of the public remain rightly skeptical of the oil and gas industry’s perpetually pollyannic propaganda touting fracking’s purported “safety” – particularly when conducted in the vicinity of especially vulnerable locales.

Second, Bradford properly points to the implicit tradeoff between the market price and profitability of fossil fuels versus the cost-effectiveness of importing and/or conserving them to protect other valuable Colorado resources.

However, while Bradford sarcastically deprecates wildlife, ski resorts, and fishing lodges, most Sentinel readers recognize that Colorado’s outdoor environment is itself a unique and invaluable economic asset that also creates jobs which should not be sacrificed on the altar of “fracking”.

Third, Bradford’s contention that “everyone [in the energy industry] is very willing to follow strict regulations” is manifestly false.  At every level of government, the energy industry strenuously resists “strict regulation” of its activities and regards fines for non-compliance – when detected—as just another “cost of doing business”.

Moreover, Bradford’s claim is further belied by the fact that – under the Energy Policy Act of 2005—“fracking” remains inexplicably exempted from the regulatory regime otherwise applicable to “underground injection wells” under the Safe Drinking Water Act and from the definition of “pollutant” under the Clean Water and Clean Air Acts.

Meanwhile, entirely benign “fracking fluids” are routinely used in offshore drilling (where toxic “fracking fluids” are prohibited).

Therefore, some Colorado communities understandably seek to exercise more local control over their own public health and safety.

Excellent comments Gail. Regardless of what other ones follow, the bottom line that no one can argue is that energy has to come from somewhere. It just doesn’t appear out of the air, or out of the gas hose, or the click of the light switch. In the end, we have a choice: to keep development in our country and our states so we can have control over or energy needs, or continue to be dependent on volatile nations overseas like a baby calf stuck nursing 24 hours a day. People need to work together on this issue because I can guarantee that if fracking is thrown out of the state, so goes a lot of money and eventually the trickle down effect of that will kick in and somewhere, someone will go, “Why don’t we have anymore funds? Why are our coffers so empty?”. There’s you sign.

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