Ken Collins: Fanning the flames
June 26, 2012
There are a dozen fires all across the state. Ranchers are selling off their stock. Extreme fire danger and restrictions. The Yampa River is shut down. The U.S. Forest Service may close the forests. Hay may be nearly nonexistent this year. No fireworks on the Fourth of July. Ranchers are being outbid by oil and gas companies for water rights.
So I have two questions: How smart is pumping a couple million gallons of precious water per well down a hole to retrieve very dirty and expensive oil along with cancerous, toxic sludge that is not going to make a penny's difference in the cost at the pump? And, have you noticed how silent the oil and gas industry has been since this drought has become so severe? They don't want people to even put the water shortage and fracking together in the same conversation. This drought may be more the trend than the exception. Drought, fires and fracking are a dangerous combination. But I guess we could douse the fires with the dirty oil when we run out of water.