I always start to salivate when I see a Gary Neely letter; I know it’s going to be bombast, oversimplification, claims of expertise and a healthy dose of baloney.
In his most recent letter (“Don’t blame fracking,” July 29), he dismisses all critics of fracking. These silly people, he opines, don’t have their feet firmly planted like him. They have the temerity to base their opinions on scientific studies ( Schlumberger, an industry leader, pegs leaking wells at 20 percent worldwide).
But, if ignorance wasn’t enough, he also assures us a lot of these folks are just mad because they didn’t get any gas money, i.e. class envy. Of course, I doubt he knows any of the letter writers (I do); if he did, he’d know many of them (me included) have declined to mortgage our grandchildren’s future for a quick buck.
And then he throws in a couple of “expert” rebuttals.
Like Sarah Palin, who claimed foreign policy expertise because her state abuts Russia, the writer assures us he knows better what the people in the Woodlands are experiencing than they do because he has lived “near the Connoquenessing Woodlands.” I guess in a singularly Republican sort of way that makes him an expert.
Then, the writer assures us he has “worked in the oil and gas industry for many years,” implying that we can, therefore, trust him to deliver truthful, expert testimony. He tosses out his usual shibboleth that toxic fracking has been around since the ’60s. That statement alone betrays the writer’s ignorance. The sort of fracking currently being used is not the same process used in the ’60s. It differs in the volume of water used, the pressure involved and the length and direction of the well bore. Many of the chemicals are new to the process, as well.
All of that, though, pales when the writer suggests opponents are anti-progress. Fossil fuels are so yesterday. Instead of dumping good money after bad, we should be investing in new, clean, renewable, abundant, nonpolluting alternatives. He would have us believe the only way forward is to continue to dump toxins into our air, water, soil and blood streams.
Perhaps fossil fuels helped build a middle class, but they also fouled the only home we have. Toxic fracking, like mountaintop removal, deep sea oil drilling and tar sands, is not a bridge to the future. It is a walk off the gang plank.