PHILIP C. VROMAN: Spencer is wrong about environmental impact of fracking

Jack Spencer’s column on “Big Oil” and “Big Wind” in your April 17th edition had a bit of “big wind,” itself. In it, Mr. Spencer falsely said that claims that fracking poses a threat to the environment appear “unsubstantiated” and “based on misrepresentation.” Maybe Mr. Spencer should read the article by the Nobel Prize-winning Physicians for Social Responsibility (psr.org) and many other articles on the internet concerning the dangers of fracking.

It MAY be true that little oil or gas is lost during the fracking process. After all, that is where the money is. But what about the 2 billion gallons of poisonous, carcinogenic water that is pumped into our Earth EVERY DAY to keep the more than 35,000 wells in the U.S. flowing?

Would it be misrepresenting the facts to say our planet has a fixed amount of water that every gallon that is poisoned in the fracking process is one gallon that will never be suitable to drink or irrigate crops? Another day, another 2 billion gallons of water ruined forever!

Is it a misrepresentation to say that the wastewater that is recovered by the oil companies, for the most part, is disposed of in an unsafe and reckless manner? If it is, Mr. Spencer, then please tell us how the billions of gallons of polluted water are being purified. Explain how the filthy, poisonous, carcinogenic water that is left in the Earth is not going to mix with fresh underground water and eventually end up in our streams and lakes.

While you are at it, please explain the logic behind the “Halliburton loophole,” which exempts fracking wastewater from Environmental Protection Agency jurisdiction. Maybe if the EPA was involved, the threat to our environment would be substantiated to Mr. Spencer’s high standards, but in his words, “in the world of politics, that might not matter much.”

Philip C. Vroman

Big Rapids

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