Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Tribune Reporter Silent on Ozone Dangers

The Forum on the Health Effects of Hydraulic Fracturing drew such a large crowd that many had to stand in the entryway of the Universalist Church. All speakers shared interesting, and important information, and guess what? Even Weld County Commissioner Sean Conway, and State Rep. Dave Young were there! According to the Tribune article, so was ex mayor Tom Selders. But, what the reporter did not mention was that some 'concerned' representatives from two of Mineral Resources' competitors were there too.

A young man from Nobel Energy stood in back and spoke up, saying that many people working in the Oil and Gas industry are too afraid to come to meetings where opponents of  fracking gather. He said he'd be outside to answer any questions the audience had. Why outside? Well, maybe because it was a forum, not a debate, even though that is what the Tribune implied it was with its headline, 'Health Issues Heavily Debated' for their print version! But, maybe he did not want to bear the brunt of the audience's frustration and cynicism since the presentation was being video recorded.

At the end of the meeting, or even before, I'm not sure, a number of people did indeed swarm around him. He told them that his company, and also Anadarko, the company that the other two young men worked for, are doing a lot to make gas production safer and more environmentally sound. He said it is the small operators such as our local Mineral Resources that give them, "the big boys", a bad name. But, he quipped, we need not worry as "Nobel Energy will soon buy them out". The implication being that residents then really will have no more worries about the drilling and fracking process, since 'the big boys' do their best to make it safe.

He admitted to the dangers involved in the process, but laughed when I questioned him about the poisonous fracking fluids. He believes that only harmless ingredients are used, but a nurse who stood listening asked him why then, does the Oil & Gas Industry put a gag order on health professionals to prevent them from disclosing chemicals they encounter when treating workers who have been contaminated.

Hearing this, I was immediately reminded of the story years ago of a nurse, in Durango who became seriously ill when she treated a man in the ER who had strange smelling clothes which she put in plastic bags. That example serves as a good illustration of serious dangers involved, and how it is ignored by the media

Although it was good to have the Greeley Tribune cover the event, the reporter showed her bias by editorializing when she wrote, "However, the city is prohibited from injuring anyone else’s water rights downstream in favor of oil and gas. While he [Phil Doe] said all the water is used and destroyed, in fact, there are several recycling efforts in the drilling fields of Weld to recycle and reuse water used for hydraulic fracturing." Had I been her editor I would have struck that bit for lack of substantiation.

She also wrote, "..Others left early. They raised concerns about what they said were scare tactics and misinformation at the meeting."  Really? I wonder who left, other than perhaps Weld County Commissioner Sean Conway, who was quoted as stating, “If I was a resident hearing this for the first time, I’d leave here confused and a little scared,..I’m all for having equitable discussion that equally represent the issues, but I don’t think it’s in the public interest to throw scare tactics at people who just want the facts.” Funny, it was nothing but factual information that was presented.

The reporter could have, should have asked him what he perceives to be scare tactics or misinformation. There was none. Anyone with a functioning brain can see that drilling near homes, and the pollution that comes with it, on such a grande scale, and in such concentration does not spell "S A F E" or
 "G O O D"! Could it have been this ozone slide? Why did the reporter stay mum about this and many other hazards mentioned?

To me ozone was the worst scare of all! You cannot undo ozone damage to your lungs. I knew that already, thanks to Dr. Theo Colborn's video, but Dr. Clark's slide, showing there's a higher incidence of heart attacks in middle-aged adults without heart disease after only 1-2 days of ozone exposure, drives that home even more!

See the Tribune's article: Health concerns highlight Greeley fracking meeting.

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