Printed letters, January 28, 2014

Grand Junction should be applauded for finally pursuing the collection of methane gas from the Persigo plant to be used as a motor fuel for the transit and service fleet.

While this technology has been around for years, the abundance of cheap liquid gasoline and diesel has kept it on the back burner (pun intended).

My critique of the current plan is the proposed pipeline from Persigo to the compressed natural gas fuel island by the city shops. My thinking is that the popularity of this energy source is bound to escalate and eventually become commonplace on the public market.

I would seriously explore the option of placing the fueling station, as well as processing and cleaning mechanism, on site at Persigo. There is an abundance of room on site, and vehicles could refuel there and avoid congestion at the existing station. This would also save an estimated $1.5 million and traffic problems associated with building the four miles of pipeline along River Road and Riverside Parkway.

I applaud any attempt to create the infrastructure and use of such an abundant fuel as methane and compressed natural gas. This clean-burning fuel trumps any liquid fuel on the market, besides reducing the raw methane released into the atmosphere.

JOE JOHNSTON

Fruita

U.S. must change laws, policies 
that favor wealthiest 5 percent

I am a fan of David Brooks, but I take exception with his column, “Inequality argument attacks the effect, not the causes of income differences,” published in the Jan. 19 edition of The Daily Sentinel.

Brooks distorts the focus of the majority of Americans who are concerned about the small percentage of wealthy Americans growing disproportionately richer at the expense of the middle class and poor Americans whose income shrinks or remains static.

Brooks makes his case based on the assumption that the battle of fighting income inequality is being waged over raising the minimum wage. Raising the minimum wage is just a secondary battle to help the working poor who presently, with full-time jobs, qualify for government welfare.

The primary fight, which Brooks never addresses, is how do we change institutions, laws and policies that favor the very wealthy over the 95 percent of the rest of the American public? Examples include tax policies that favor the rich with obscene tax breaks that allow billionaires to pay lower taxes than their secretaries and the organized effort to destroy the union movement, historically a strong American institution that helped create a reasonable distribution of wealth through the 1970s.

And, I’m sorry, there is growing economic class conflict in America. It will only change with substantial legislation through assertive government that ends corporate welfare and attacks economic distortions like the growing power of bankers that are too “big to fail.”

And, for those conservatives who love to talk about the intent of the founders of the Constitution: “The rich will always strive to establish their dominion and enslave the rest. They always did … they will have the same effect here as elsewhere, if we do not by (the power of) government keep them in their proper spheres.” — Gouverneur Morris, delegate to the U.S. Constitutional Convention in 1787.

HARMON LISNOW

Loma

 

Long-time energy worker 
attests to fracking safety

As a follow-up to the Jan. 1 letter from Floyd Diemoz, I, too, am a child of Wilson Creek and many other oilfields as I grew up. I was born and raised in the “Patch.”

I began working in the Patch when I was 14, and, as a 30-year employee of Halliburton Colorado, I was directly involved in the drilling, production and stimulus of oil and gas wells throughout Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, North Dakota, Texas and Alaska until 1992. That gives me more than 40 years of direct involvement.

I have been covered with those nasty frack fluids and breathed all of the fumes that could be found in and around the well sites and frack jobs. We fracked a well in 1963 in the Silt area. I have been involved in fracking from shallow wells, 5,000 feet to 20,000 feet deep. We used crude oil, diesel, water and numerous combinations of all of the above, along with liquid CO2.

Wells in the Pavillion, Wyo., area that the EPA found were not damaged by fracking actually are contaminated from existing natural gas from shallow coal zones that the water wells are exposed to and not cemented off to prevent this problem. 

As for the dangerous chemicals used in fracking, most can be found under the sink of your residence. Some of the proprietary formulations are patented and therefore protected.

I am a healthy, living example that fracking is not the boogieman that the anti-energy greenies make it out to be.  Some of them actually believe that the propane that is used for heat and cooking comes from the tanks at the storage facility and have no clue as to the actual source. If these individuals would actually figure out how important the nasty oil industry is to their way of life, they would be astounded. No cell phones, no computers, no batteries, etc.

There have been no confirmed and documented cases of surface water contamination ever, as per the EPA. Many lies by Hollywood, but no facts.

D. L. SMITH  

Grand Junction



COMMENTS

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Using crude and diesel in frack jobs is not good, and being covered in fracking fluid is bad practice for a worker in the patch.  If not, perhaps Halliburton can clarify and issue a company statement that being covered in fracking fluid is OK for their workers and using diesel and crude in fracks is no problem.

I don’t think the Halliburton workers intentionally set out to cover themselves in frack fluids. Incidental contact is going to happen sometimes in the course of an operation.

By the way, didn’t several chief state politicians actually drink some of the newer fracking fluids awhile back? As far as I know, they’re still alive and well.

The fracking fluid consumed by Gov. Frackenlooper is a Halliburton product called CleanStim. It is sourced from food products, and is mandated in off-shore drilling. There is no mandate that CleanStim be used in Colorado wells, nor is it used because it is way more expensive than other, more toxic products. It is interesting that a Halliburton employee would say that they used diesel in fracking, since the company has assured the EPA that they do not use diesel fuel, which is prohibited by federal regulation.

Can someone furnish us with hard facts that counters Mr.Smith’s final comment that no confirmed/documented cases of surface water contamination have ever been verified by the EPA?

Yes, ingesting sand and water, especially in the quantities that is used in well fracking certainly would be toxic.

“A 2004 EPA study concluded fracking did not pose a risk to drinking water, helping lead to its exemption from the Safe Drinking Water Act through the Energy Policy Act of 2005. The study was later criticized as limited and compromised by oil/gas industry influence. A 2009 ProPublica investigation found that contamination was far more prevalent than indicated in the report, citing more than 1,000 cases tied to drilling and fracking that had been documented by courts and state and local governments” From SourceWatch http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Fracking_and_water_pollution

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