Ken Collins: A matter of safety
February 16, 2012
I have nothing personal against Republicans. Some of my best friends are Republicans. However, I do have a problem with some of their reasoning. I know Republicans have kids and care very much for them. So this one has me wondering.
A week or so ago at the state Capitol in Denver, a Democratic lawmaker introduced a bill that would increase the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission's arbitrarily imposed distance a fracking oil well has to be from a school, a playground or a subdivision from the present 350 feet to 1,000 feet. He was concerned about the safety of children being that close to the rig and the associated chemicals. The Republican-controlled House shot it down.
Another bill was introduced to separate the collection pool of chemicals, sludge and toxins associated with the operations to 1,000 feet. It also was shot down.
Now, we aren't talking politics or job-killing, because it's just a move. We're not talking tree-huggers because the legislation didn't ask to stop anything. So that pretty much leaves a health and welfare concern. Is that a concern not shared by Republicans? For Colorado kids?
Fracking has, without any doubt, caused some groundwater degradation. It has created kitchen faucets that can be torches. In Ohio, manmade earthquakes from fracking have caused shutdowns of some operations.
Here's how it looks to me: Republican House members think that fume-spewing oil rigs and their accompanying cesspools of toxic sludge ponds of carcinogens at a distance of only a football field from schools and playgrounds is safe. And it's apparently three times safer than having a highly regulated, often monitored medical marijuana dispensary in the area. Amazing.