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?”


“He didn't shoot you?”


“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

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