Tuesday, June 19 , 2018, 7:31 pm | Fair 64º


Letter to the Editor: Oil Companies Offer Rat Poison and Arsenic

Day after day, week after week, month after month, results accumulate as to the poisonous materials oil/gas companies and their supporters — including police, firemen and selected college teachers — would have us ingest.

The following recent disclosure of the billions of gallons of high quality water oil companies have contaminated in California is only the latest in a long line of water-poisoning instances their practices have given us.

“Almost 3 billion gallons of oil industry wastewater have been illegally dumped into central California aquifers that supply drinking water and farming irrigation, according to state documents obtained by the Center for Biological Diversity. The wastewater entered the aquifers through at least nine injection disposal wells used by the oil industry to dispose of waste contaminated with fracking fluids and other pollutants. The documents also reveal that Central Valley Water Board testing found high levels of arsenic, thallium and nitrates — contaminants sometimes found in oil industry wastewater — in water-supply wells near these waste-disposal operations.”

Thallium is used in rat poison. Perhaps you don't need an introduction to arsenic; it kills people and animals, causes cancer and even in low doses may inhibit a human's immune system.

“The Central Valley Water Board tested eight water-supply wells out of more than 100 in the vicinity of these injection wells. Arsenic, nitrate and thallium exceeded the maximum contaminant level in half the water samples.”

Will police and firemen come to hold you up when you raise a glass of this stuff to your lips? Do the “scholarly” teachers on TV — who support the drilling methods that have threatened our lives in this way — tell you they've researched these reports and that they don't mean anything?

“California’s oil and gas fields produce billions of gallons of contaminated wastewater each year, and much of this contaminated fluid is injected underground. California has an estimated 2,583 wastewater injections wells, of which 1,552 are currently active. Wastewater injection wells are located throughout the state, from the Chico area in Northern California to Los Angeles in the south, and even include offshore wells near Santa Barbara.”

In light of voluminous, readily available evidence (see my previous posts) as to what oil/gas conglomerates have done to people and the environment, and the unmistakable implication that they would duplicate that behavior here.

In light of the disreputable McCarthyesque techniques used by Measure P opponents here:

“Heather, they are kids from Jon Foran's commie incubator.” “Congratulations on congratulating Marxist students to continue their Marxism.”

In light of the streams of evidence these people avoid addressing while using these scurrilous attacks as their usual method, I believe the pointed, devastating question attorney Joseph Welch asked of Sen. Joseph McCarthy in the 1950s is appropriately addressed to these and all oil/gas companies and their supporters here:

“At long last, sir, at long last … have you no shame?”

But let's get down to the nub. Ballots are in the mail. The time has come.

Do you stand for and support a means of preventing in Santa Barbara County the health and safety threats that oil/gas companies bring us daily or — for the sake of money you might get or for any other reason — do you invite fracking, cyclic steam injection and acidizing oil drilling to be your partners for life?

A Dallas mother said, “The risk is not worth the reward. I knew that if I didn't act and if gas drilling occurred near my home and one of my children got sick, I would never forgive myself.”

How about you?

Measure P protects. Vote yes on Measure P on your mail ballot or on Nov. 4.

William Smithers
Santa Barbara

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