I just came back from the DEC meeting at the Ballroom at S.U.C.O., where many well-spoken and well thought out Ideas were presented by people who were pleading the case for a sane and thorough vetting of the drilling process before considering permitting it.
One speaker who I did not find fit in with the well-spoken, nor well-thought-out deliveries was a flunky from the gas industry. He spoke for about 15 minutes and basically said, “Don’t worry, we have it under control. There’s been hydro-fracturing in NYS since the fifties with no incidents.”
Well, that kind of misleading tripe is proof-positive that you shouldn’t trust these windbags as far as you can spit a rat.
As I left the venue I saw him in the lobby, and I couldn’t help but tell him he was the best speaker our side could have. He smiled, then asked, “Uh, which side are you on?”
I told him I was on the side opposing his. He was taken aback, and asked what he had said that I had a problem with. I told him that I, like most of the other people in the room, were livid as he spoke and misrepresented the entire situation.
It was readily apparent to most people in the room that the “gentleman” had left out the word “horizontal” in his entire statement. Comparing the hydrofracking that is being discussed today with the vertical drilling that was done in the fifties is like comparing apples to codfish, and he knew it.
Everyone who cared to actually consider what he was saying was aware that he was being “disingenuous” to say the least.
He assured me that they are “virtually the same procedure.”
I love that. To these guys, “horizontal” is virtually “vertical.” That is their logic, and they expect you to swallow it.
It’s like saying, “Hey, in 1925 there were airplanes, and there wasn’t a single case of spewing burned jet-fuel into the atmosphere, so why are you worried about airplanes doing that now?”
People like that give me gas.
There was a nice local gentleman standing with him, who was trying to defend him. He tried the same old, tired argument that, “Well, we need to get energy from somewhere. You need to drive your car, don’t you?”
I have no argument with that. But that is precisely the point: He can’t win an argument I am not fighting him on. The argument is about how they extract gas from the ground with hydro-fracking, and why not to trust them, not about if gas is a good fuel or not. I mean, I like to eat potatoes, but if they had to poison my well to get them, I don’t think I’d be eating them for very long.
If the horizontal drilling that the industry is lobbying for were truly safe, would they have to revert to double-speak to defend it? Why don’t they address the issues we bring up and show us logically that there is no problem? (Um, because they can’t?) It’s the same crap argument the cigarette companies used for years. “There’s not proof that it’s harmful.”
That’s what the guys in Chernobyl said. That’s what they told the soldiers and sailors they had witness the first a-bomb tests (you know, the guys that developed elephantitis of the testicles…)
We have met the enemy, and this time it is them.
What do you have to do to let people know when they are being shat upon by people who live far away and will make money off their misinformed decisions?
There were many things to be gotten out of this meeting.
One, was now we can put a face on the faceless bureaucrats that blow gas at you. (Damned if I remember the guy’s name, though – but if you were there, there is not much of a chance you don’t know who I mean).
Another is that it was great to see the ballroom packed with concerned neighbors who are so passionate about protecting the great area in which we live.
My admiration goes out to all those who did such in-depth research and who presented their cases so well.