Another Oil Spill Courtesy of Fracking

Some American citizens believe that the Federal Government should not regulate any state or business.  The video above is an example of why both Federal and State Government Regulations are important.  If we want clean safe water, a beautiful state, a healthy environment, regulating corporate greed is vital.   Capitalism can be wonderful but it has to be regulated. Unregulated corporate greed and capitalism is destructive and ends up only serving a few for the short term.

Today, Corporations are faster and better at mountain top removal, fracking and extracting.  In the last 4 years,  we have been hearing horrible stories about state citizens dealing with large oil and gas spills, toxins being intentionally dumped, water pollution and water shortage, all which causes property and habitat destruction.   When a community finds out they have been damaged by a corporation, they run to their local and state leaders only to find they have no protections.  When citizens ask for Federal help, they find that our federal organizations are seriously underfunded and understaffed. Congress has cut their budgets so deep, Federal organizations are years behind the corporate greed.

Corporations go after anything profitable without any regard to the long term national cost.  It is their nature to want more profits every year.  That is all they care about.   The community and tax payers get stuck with that long term damage.  Corporations have been busy going after our state and federal government with aggression while we are being distracted.  It is happening at a speed which should frighten everyone.  Corporations are not responsible citizens. Corporations have rewritten our state laws and regulations. Corporations and lobbyist have ensured that our federal organizations are under funded while they take more of our tax subsidies and tax cuts.

As a nation, we need to get past this short term view of our planet and our nation.  Past leaders had long term vision and wisdom.  We had a Congress, a Senate and a Supreme Court that served our nation with pride. We need to get over this divided government and end of days mentality. Like J. F. Kennedy said, “We need to keep in mind that our problems are man made – therefore they can be solved by man, and man can be as big as he wants.”   It is time to act like adults.  Take care of this planet so our children can enjoy it.

“The health, safety and welfare of Colorado’s rivers and communities throughout the state are in peril due to inadequate state regulations and a failing regulatory regime that simply is not up to the task of preventing a multitude of environmental hazards from happening because of our rush to drill and frack as quickly as possible.” Photo credit: Lee Buchsbaum

“The health, safety and welfare of Colorado’s rivers and communities throughout the state are in peril due to inadequate state regulations and a failing regulatory regime that simply is not up to the task of preventing a multitude of environmental hazards from happening because of our rush to drill and frack as quickly as possible.” Photo credit: Lee Buchsbaum

On June 20, Colorado’s Cache La Poudre River—a National Heritage Area, and home to Colorado’s only naturally self-sustaining wild trout population—was contaminated by more than 7,500 gallons of crude oil, hazardous liquid waste, produced water and other fracking industry chemicals after a well-pad was engulfed by floodwaters from unusually heavy snowmelt.

Though more than 100 feet away from the river’s normal course, excessive runoff wiped out a protective berm at the Noble Energy well site State 7-36, damaged crude oil tanks and broke key valves on what industry terms a “produced water tank” causing the chemicals to drain into the river. While the crude oil and other liquid wastes were releasing, the oil tanks began to float—quickly becoming lifted by the buoyant liquids accumulating under the tanks and unhinging them from their moorings. The tanks then spilled even more crude oil and other toxins into the river. The state mandated anchors fastened to the tanks to prevent them from moving or spilling completely failed. Worse, because of inadequate oversight, it is unknown how long State 7-36 was draining into the Poudre before inspectors became aware of the situation.

On June 20, Colorado’s Cache La Poudre River was contaminated by more than 7,500 gallons of crude oil, hazardous liquid waste, produced water and other fracking industry chemicals after a well-pad was engulfed by floodwaters from unusually heavy snowmelt. Photo credit: Lee Buchsbaum

On June 20, Colorado’s Cache La Poudre River was contaminated by more than 7,500 gallons of crude oil, hazardous liquid waste, produced water and other fracking industry chemicals after a well-pad was engulfed by floodwaters from unusually heavy snowmelt. Photo credit: Lee Buchsbaum

Despite recent inspection, the late spring surge of unexpectedly large flood waters, caught the regulators flatfooted.  Not only were they unprepared to deal with the situation, they couldn’t even access the site for nearly a month after Noble reportedly “shut in” the well. It’s likely the public will never know how much crude and other toxins spilled into the river since Colorado’s already challenged inspection regime—less than 20 inspectors for more than 52,000 active wells—can not evaluate the full impacts of the spill. Dually mandated to both regulate and promote the industry, COGCC inspection reports reveal that more than 65 percent of Colorado’s wells and production facilities—in excess of 34,000—escaped inspection in 2013.

Read more at EcoWatch

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Categories: Climate change, Economics, Energy policy, Environment, Environmental history, Environmental policy, History, Natural resources, Opinion/Editorial, Pollution

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3 replies

  1. I lived in Colorado for several years. Their water is normally very clear which makes for excellent fishing, boating and rafting. The water is cold and clear due to snow melt. It is a famous trout fishing area. Sadly, I fear that has completely disappeared.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Nice post, gen. You raise so many important issues in your preface. I don’t know where to start. The environmental assault reported here is outrageous and sickening. To think that there was one unspoiled and wild river left in all of Colorado and it was ruined through sheer stupidity and regulatory neglect…

      You really get to the heart of the central political argument occurring in this country today about the size and power of government. It is about an elitist, corporate political agenda to destroy government oversight and regulation because it interferes with their bottom line. The Koch brothers are it’s pathetic poster boys.

      People who are uncritical in their thinking and infantile in their opposition to authority have been sold a bill of goods in the form of an idea that less government is better.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Konigludwig, One of my favorite places in Colorado was Leadville. It is a small town in the rocky’s above 10,000 feet. It was the first time that I saw what mountain top removal looks like. It is a 70 plus year old scar on that community that will never heal. The children in that town can not even play out side on the grass due to the toxin’s that are still bleeding into that town.

        The town learned a powerful lesson but corporations are faster than one small American town today. We have forgotten all the past battles we won. We solved these issues in our past but they are all returning due to corporate greed. I am worried about this knee jerk reaction to regulations. Look at the news about Ohio and the great lakes. It is time for our nation to wake up before we have nothing left.

        Liked by 2 people

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