Oil industry an example of corporate grip on opinion in U.S.

Letter: Oil industry an example of corporate grip on opinion in U.S. by James A. Erdman, Ph.D., Livermore, March 4, 2014, coloradoan.com

Disturbing — more, shocking — is the cozy relationship between developers and the fracking industry, as reported in The Denver Post on Feb. 19, “Real estate developers partner with Colorado oil and gas producers.”

Gov. John Hickenlooper’s support of the industry likely stems back to his first work as a geologist. But that doesn’t excuse his blind eye on the well-documented flaws in the drilling/sealing processes, so amply exposed in this article published Feb. 21: “Cracks in the Foundation: New Fracking Information Shows More Underground Contamination, Toxic Fluids Than Previously Thought.”

This point reveals the outright lies fomented by the industry: “Even where contamination does occur, the claim continues, this is not due to fracking, but poor casing and cementing jobs, which are rare in practice and not worth worrying too much about.” Yet further in the report, this: “Not only are casing and cementing problems possible, they are an expected part of the drilling process.” Other sources also report failures in the cement annulus (ring) that is injected to provide a seal against fluid leakage.

Having been a field scientist, a biogeochemist, throughout the West for over a half century, I feel qualified to share my 36-page report: “A Sketch of Three Cultures — Past, Present, Future: Fracking in Weld County, Colorado.” Based on several day-trips to the area last year, it was released Feb. 2 of this year on the Mummy Range Institute’s website. The institute is a nonpartison, environmentally oriented organization based in Red Feather Lakes.

“The corporate grip on opinion in the United States is one of the wonders of the Western world. No First World country has ever managed to eliminate so entirely from its media all objectivity — much less dissent.” — Gore Vidal [Emphasis added]

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