At the recent forum regarding hydraulic fracturing, I was struck by how the representative from the industry, Eric Sanford, downplayed the risks from this violent form of gas/oil extraction.
He stated there are "risks in every human activity" and "this industry carries risks like any other."
Seems to me putting our eco-system at risk in the short and long term is clearly more disastrous than most other human activities that can go awry. When life-giving water is subjected to risk of poisoning, proceeding with the utmost in caution would seem wise. Studies done recently indicate that the ghastly chemicals used in this process can escape, either from well-casing "failures" or at the surface. Add to these known ways to lose the unhealthy chemicals is the risk of it migrating from "target" strata vertically into adjoining unintended regions, tainting the underground water and turning it hazardous.
Seems to most thinking people that water is the source of life on Earth and protecting it is paramount to making a buck! Where has the BLM been in protecting us? Appears they want lease income at all costs, even if that means sacrificing our way of life for the supposed greater benefits to the country. Drill baby drill, burn baby burn! Yes, abundant, cheap natural gas has some short-term economic benefits; however, if we pollute our eco-system and make regions of the country inhospitable to healthy living, have we really been wise stewards? Add the devaluation of real estate values in proximity and you now have a clear counter-balance to supposed benefits.
America has abundant places that are more inclined to drilling where humans are scarce and water isn't so critical. Do we have to drill everywhere gas/oil may be? It is time for the BLM state director to heed our overwhelming opposition to making our precious valley available for drilling and destroying. Removing all the remaining parcels from the lease/sale will foster a renewed sense that our voice as engaged Americans carries weight!