Letters to the Editor: July 2, 2014 

Climate change is scary; get informed

Anyone who knows me knows that I am not afraid of too many things. But I am scared to death of the rise in global warming. I have no grandchildren, although I do have grand nieces and nephews. I want them to grow up in a world much like the one I grew up in, not one with changing weather patterns, more spills, higher property taxes and higher cancer rates. I feel an obligation to do anything I can to help make the people of Oklahoma aware of the imminent dangers of global warming.

In these days of so much misinformation, Oklahomans need to get informed. Tar sands are the dirtiest form of fossil fuel known. It is not your granddad’s oil flowing through those lines.

On Feb. 4 of last year, I chained myself to a large piece of equipment used by the TransCanada Corporation to build what is known as the Gulf Coast Section of the Keystone XL pipeline in Okfuskee County. I am against the tar sands pipelines, as I am against all fossil fuel extraction. Tar sands consist of a mixture of crude bitumen and are found in approximately the center of the province of Alberta, covering 54,000 square miles, an area the size of the state of Florida.

This area has been mined since 1967, but it was not profitable to extract. Innovative methods have been developed since then that allow profits to be made and mining to expand. People who live downwind of Alberta’s oil and tars sands operations are getting blood cancer, lymphatic cancer and soft tissue cancers. The oil town of Port Arthur, Texas, the last stop of the Keystone pipeline’s proposed path, sees cancer rates that are 15 percent higher than the rest of Texas. By now, the rates are even higher.

— Elisabeth Leja

Norman

Fracking not new

Much has been made of oil-well fracking in recent years, although it has been around since 1949. For some strange reason, a lot of environmentalists seem to think that frack jobs performed on horizontal well bores are more detrimental than frack jobs on vertical well bores. Of interest is the fact that early day oil well stimulation involved loading the well bore with nitroglycerin and detonating the “torpedo.” The first patent on this process was issued in 1885, and thousands of oil wells were “shot” in order to fracture the oil-producing formation so it would yield more oil.

Early day reports credit this new process with creating a trillion dollars worth of new wealth and 3.2 million jobs. Whether this is so or not is debatable, but there seems to have been little opposition to the process on record at the time.

It seems plausible to assume that a combination of horizontal drilling and multistage fracking has certainly been responsible for a trillions of dollars of new wealth and hundreds of thousands of good-paying jobs, with more on the horizon. Also of benefit is the opportunity to become energy self-sufficient at a time when world oil supplies appear to be getting more perilous due to geopolitical concerns.

— Mickey McVay

Edmond

Correction: In a June 25 OKG eat feature, the name of the executive chef was incorrect. Vuong Nguyen is executive chef at Guernsey Park. We apologize for the error.

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Elisabeth Leja

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