Thursday, February 22 , 2018, 1:45 am | Fair 37º

 
 
 
 

Letter to the Editor: ‘Kochroachers’ Applaud Threat

“Yesterday, a guy held a gun to my head and threatened me.”

“Did he pull the trigger?”

“No.”

“He didn't shoot you?”

“No.”

“So what's your beef? No harm, no foul!”

That exchange is the characteristic mantra of Kochroachers, the oil/gas company shills whose purpose in life is to deny, excuse, minimize and distract attention from the threats to our health, lives and environment caused by energy conglomerates.

It is of course a violation of law to threaten someone with harm and/or to force someone into a situation where harm is a reasonable and possible outcome of the behavior.

That's why the Environmental Protection Agency has made it a federal offense to inject waste water from fracking or other oil drilling operations into wells drilled through aquifers containing water that may be used for drinking and/or agriculture.

That waste water usually contains toxic material – often including the carcinogen benzene – that would sicken or kill people and animals should it find its way into the water they drink or use for irrigation.

The existence of that toxic material in those injection wells is a gun pointed at our heads. Should the poisonous stuff break free – leak – from the wells into the surrounding water, the gun will have been fired: people, animals and plants will be poisoned.

The Kochroacher cry “This has never happened! This can't happen!” is at the same time a lie, an evasion and beside the point.

It is a lie because current national data and studies have revealed instances of clean water contaminated by leaked material from fracked wells, though FactCheck tells us they are not many. It is an evasion because it ignores the documented history of wells that have degraded, cracked and leaked. It is beside the point because these threats are known to exist and, for the sake or our protection, the federal government – not always as environmentally effective as it should be – has made it a violation of law to place waste water from drilling operations into wells drilled through protected aquifers.

In California, oil/gas conglomerates have broken the law in this way many hundreds of times while the Kochroach Klub applauds, and the government of Jerry Brown - the office holder who's received several million dollars in campaign contributions and support of ballot measures by oil/gas companies – looks the other way.

William Smithers
​Santa Barbara

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click here to get started >

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.



Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >