FRACKING CAN BE ABUSIVE
A counterpoint is needed to the column by Mark Cares (Page A4, March 14). Certainly, fracking and horizontal drilling do offer new opportunities in eastern Ohio and other Appalachian areas adversely impacted by the EPA’s “war on coal” in particular.
It remains to be seen how long the speedily-depleting fracking operations will last, however, in contrast to coal production and use to make low-cost electricity. From a physical impact perspective, the fracking “gold rush” can quickly turn deadly. My knowledge derives from observation and analysis of the North Dakota Bakken operations. No person familiar with that “free for all” would seek to emulate the experience in the eastern U.S., much less Ohio.
North Dakota is supposed to regulate the well and production operations, but when regulators turn into industry cheerleaders, trouble follows.
Well permits, including fracturing techniques, are precisely planned in keeping with “best practices,” but the minute the rig is ready, waivers are sought and readily approved.
One noteworthy practice has been the occurrence of so-called “Hail Mary fracs.” Horizontal liners are not installed and very high pressures are used to fracture the reservoir formations in an uncontrolled manner.
The result is the opening of vertical seams along ancient vertical faults, instead of the careful low-pressure controlled fracturing described in the initial “well plans.” The faulty, but cheap, practice is quick and dirty — a compelling mix for many fly-by-night small operators.
Much of the sweet Bakken production has been poisoned by highly-toxic hydrogen sulfide from adjacent formations as a result.
The toxic liquids and gases are much more difficult and dangerous to handle, store and transport.
Radioactive fracking wastes are routinely dumped in unapproved and illegal sites. As well, unscrupulous operators “spike” the oil with LPG — creating the explosive mixtures that have resulted in at least four major rail explosions within the past few months.
In Ohio, there is virtually no severance tax imposed on operators to compensate for roads destroyed by thousands of heavy trucks.
Fracking can be done safely, if carefully regulated. But it can certainly be done in a harmful manner if not so carefully regulated.
Ohio must not follow the example of North Dakota, no matter how many “get-rich-quick” speculators pump the press.
David C. Breidenbach
LET’S THANK THE VIETNAM VETS
I saw an article the other day that said that 35 states have passed legislation declaring March 29 as Vietnam Veterans Day. It was March 29, 1973, when the last U.S. troops left Vietnam.
Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., has led the charge on this for the last five years, trying to get a bill to add Vietnam Veterans Day as a patriotic and national observance.
It would authorize the president to annually issue a proclamation, as is done with National POW/MIA Recognition Day.
Sen. Burr is the ranking member of the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs and it appears that he does not have a lot of support on this.
Jurisdiction to make it a permanent holiday falls on the Senate Judiciary Committee and there seems to be little interest or commitment to do this for the thousands of Vietnam veterans who served their country.
We veterans of the Vietnam War have never asked our country for much, and God knows we have not received much, either.
This one day of recognition for the sacrifices of many would be a nice way of saying “thanks.”
All gave something — some gave everything. Semper Fi.
Captain (Ret.), USMC
TAXES ARE DRIVING POT LEGALIZATION
It’s embarrassing how various decision-makers are scrambling for the legalization of marijuana for enhanced revenue.
But they will have to contend with more opposition than that of the self-appointed guardians of public morality. The large and wealthy pharmaceutical interests and distilleries aren’t likely to take kindly the trespass on their pain-relieving businesses.
Oddly enough, ecclesiastical institutions and Mexican gangsters will find themselves united in their opposition to legalized marijuana.
Modern politics is an arabesque of convoluted notions and cross-purposes.
Before long, we shall see taxes derived from marijuana sales allocated for campaigns against use of the drug by youngsters.
NB TEACHER WAS A SAINT
The Bible tells us in Psalm 115:15: Precious in the sight of the lord is the death of his saints. Kim Conkle was a saint!
Our children attended Van Buren School with her and then years later she taught two of my great-grandchildren. They loved her so much, they cried when they learned of her death.
She will be remembered as a wonderful, genuine Christian daughter, sister, mother, grandmother, wife and teacher!
Orma J. Strait
CITY IS MOVING UP?
The mayor thinks the people’s letters are “crazy”? There is an open meeting for the public, and the public is not permitted to speak?
Findlay appears to be coming up in the world.
Some of its officials are getting to be more like Obama and his yes men/women. Push it through behind closed doors, all the while claiming transparency. Hmmm.
Barbara J. Rice
DON’T WAGER ON FINDLAY’S RECORDS
Two of my friends entered a wager prior to last week’s snowstorm. One said the snow totals would be more than 4 inches and the other less than 4 inches. I told the friend who bet more than 4 inches that he would surely lose.
My advice was based on watching, for years, for whatever reason, the chronic under-reporting of Findlay’s snow totals.
Sure enough, despite an all-day snow Wednesday, reports of 5 to 7 inches by weather spotters and Toledo television, and over 6 inches in my backyard, the official Findlay snow total was 2.5 inches.
I doubt this is earth-shattering to most, or important. But, don’t rely on the official Findlay weather records to substantiate that you just lived through northwestern Ohio’s snowiest winter in the last 100 years. And certainly don’t bet on it.
Gregory E. Meyers
SNOW CREWS DID A GREAT JOB
Thank you to the city of Findlay snow-removal department for the great job they did all winter.
Living at the end of a “no outlet” street, we were always able to get out of our drive. They were always here in a few hours after the snow to plow our street as clear as possible. Great job.