“The human health effects of oil and gas activities constitute one of the areas in greatest need of additional reliable information.”
—National Academy of Sciences, 2003,
“Cumulative Environmental Effects of Oil and Gas Activities on Alaska’s North Slope”
Oil and gas companies are making a mad dash to “poke a hole” everywhere possible before we learn just how damaging it is. Let’s see how the Domestic Drilling agenda has worked out for Wyoming in the past eight years.
Now, in hindsight, we can look back on the strategy of increasing domestic fossil fuel production as a failure for Wyoming and the United States. It didn’t wean us from foreign oil, there is certainly no evidence that it increased our security, and it certainly didn’t result in affordable prices for consumers. The only success this policy can claim is inflating the profits of the oil and gas corporations to record levels.
Casper Star-Tribune Online – Letters, Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Drilling our way to higher gas prices
Carmi McLean of Laramie, the public outreach director of the Biodiversity Conservation Alliance
This is happening All over the U.S.—anywhere they can find some oil and gas that is still in the ground because, previously, it was too expensive and too difficult to produce. There are groups of activists fighting it, but we can’t educate enough people fast enough. We are competing with companies that have the deepest of the deep pockets. Chesapeake Energy hired Tommy Lee Jones to tell people they should put up with the “minor inconveniences” and “get behind the Barnett Shale.” He is on every billboard, bus stop bench, and the sides of busses. Yet, he doesn’t have to live here and breathe the air or drink the water. They also hired Tracy Rowlett as
anchor shill of the new Shale.TV/Radio Free Chesapeake. It’s non-stop propaganda.
We have the power to protect ourselves. As my friend, David Van Os, said, when he was running for Attorney General in 2006, “I’ve never seen a ten-thousand dollar bill with a voter registration card.” We have the power to close the loopholes in the following federal laws.
Oil and gas enjoys broad exemptions from our environmental laws.
- Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act
- Resource Conservation and Recovery Act
- Safe Drinking Water Act
- Clean Water Act
- Clean Air Act
- National Environmental Policy Act
- Toxic Release Inventory under the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act
Closing the exemptions and loopholes along with pushing for clean, renewable energy sources will help keep us safe and protect our environment for future generations.
Lessons learned advice from Wyoming:
Now that we’ve tried uncontrolled energy development, perhaps it’s time to throttle back energy development to a measured pace. In doing so, we can provide better habitat for wildlife, high-quality recreation opportunities for residents and tourists alike, and a steady pace of economic growth that doesn’t overwhelm the ability of small communities to evolve and cope with growth. And into the bargain, the oil and gas in our state will last longer, giving us more time to develop long-lasting economic engines to carry us forward when oil and gas run out.
In the short term, conservation and reducing our demand, strengthening the dollar, and reducing commodity market speculation will help reduce energy prices more effectively than continuing to accelerate domestic drilling.
I’ll be sharing more about how we will close the loopholes in the future.