Letters

07/03/2013

 

Lack of memory recall

Re: “It’s the ’70s all over again,” Right Persuasion, 5/30


To the light and airy, for the serious, Paul Moomjean now adds the “bouncy,” an insinuation that he knows all about the ’70s when he wasn’t born until the ’80s! Doesn’t this point to the portentous in much of his writing?

Duane Waln
Camarillo

 

Gas is good

This letter is in response to an article by Kimberly Rivers in the May 30 issue on oil and gas in Ventura County.  Although the article attempts to show both sides of the story, there is a strong negative basis to the energy industry and its practices. She begins her story with a statement that “one quart of motor oil can contaminate 250,000 gallons of drinking water,” and then states that there have been 868 reported spills (of something) in the past 19 years in Ventura County.  That works out to be 45.7 small spills a year, an astoundingly small number for an industry that, in 2012, produced over 452 million gallons of oil from 2,834 active wells. I think the industry should be given an award not regulation to control a problem that does not exist.    Fracking: a bad word that fills the public with fear.  This technique has been successfully used to make low-producing wells into economic producers, creating wealth and jobs in the county for over 60 years.  Fracturing began in the 1860s in New York and Pennsylvania, with the first successful hydro fracking treatment done in 1949. The process reached over 3,000 wells per month in Oklahoma by the mid-1950s. Water was first used as a fracture fluid in 1953. The process was used extensively in the Sespe Oil field above Fillmore in the early 1980s. Since hydraulic fracturing was successfully introduced in 1949, close to 2.5 million fracture treatments have been performed worldwide (http://www.spe.org/jpt/print/archives/2010/12/10Hydraulic.pdf).  If there was a significant problem with this method, don’t you think it would have shown up by now?  Even Lisa Jackson, President Obama’s EPA Administrator, has stated, “I’m not aware of any proven case where the fracking process itself has affected water.” (5/24/11)  I hope legislators like State Sen. Hanna-Beth Jackson learn to do a better job of researching and listening before proposing legislation that will kill jobs, hurt the poor with higher energy costs and contribute to additional greenhouse gas emissions because clean-burning natural gas produced by fracture stimulation is restricted by unnecessary regulation. The California State Division of Oil and Gas does a great job of regulating the industry and protecting public safety.

 
 People in the oil and gas industry have families and want to drink clean water and breathe clean air just like people in the rest of the county.  When I worked in the energy industry, we did everything we could to work safely and protect the environment, and I hate to see these efforts vilified by others that know little about the industry and are unwilling to do the proper research.    

Jim Hill
Camarillo

 

The affordable housing flop

Accessory housing is fine.


“Low income housing,” as recently exhibited in Ventura, is rapidly becoming an abherrant form of cancer on the overall community - as has already occurred in Santa Paula.


To wit:


The WAV (financial joke of the century - 27 parking spaces - no retail unit rented to date - no landscaping - a noise pit nobody would ever invest in - not one condo sold - I predicted all of this when I was on DRC - but the local architecture/planning establishment wanted to hear nothing about that) 1400 N. Ventura Ave. (developer’s dream/ financial nightmare); the building next to the former Greyhound Station (another developer’s dream/financial nightmare); the proposed project next to the Sidecar (reinvented five times so far).


These buildings are built on the backs of the taxpayers, will never be paid off and are a convenient method for getting projects which otherwise do not pencil out - built. They also become a financially cancerous infestation on the housing supply in the city.


“Live/work” has become a national joke. Is there one “live/work” project in the city of Ventura which has done anything to “activate” the street? I think not. Allow the “accessory housing” concept to evolve.


Santa Paula is rapidly becoming a collection of these “low income” projects which do little for the community and much for the developer.


Suggestion: Merging the planning people with the DRC was a device to allow planning to run over any and all meaningful discussion of aesthetic issues within the city. There is no meaningful code enforcement of illegal signage and they continue to proliferate.


The city of Santa Barbara did not always look “good.” It was a process. If Bakersfield-by-the Sea is what the City Council is after, well, you are certainly on course.

John Stewart
Ventura

 

Bravo, Raymond

Who, exactly, is this Raymond Freeman in your opinion page “Sharper Focus”?  Answer: A breath of fresh air wrapped in a reality check of surprisingly authentic honesty. His quote, “The super-wealthy are not greatly interested in integrity or the common good. Surprise, surprise. They’re interested in money. Integrity is pushed aside and replaced by hyper-competitiveness, intolerance and greed.” So come on down, Raymond Freeman. . . . “The Price Is Right.” . . . But only for the wealthy. You have already opened door No. 1, Integrity; and door No. 2, Humanity; and door No. 3, Reality. Bravo! At least you comprehend it is supposed to be “the greatest good for the greatest number (of people)” NOT the greatest number (of dollars) for the greatest good (selfish and special interests). Oh, that unforgettable 47 percent. . . . Remember? We’re the ones who truly represented the voice of authentic America . . . the voice of integrity. Mitt Romney must remember . . . “CIAO, BABY.” So bravo, Raymond Freeman. 2000-2008 was the gold standard for “lapses in memory.” May America never allow a “brain freeze” like that again in our country.   

Linda Principe
Thousand Oaks

 

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Comments

John Stewart makes some great comments on the Affordable Housing problems in Ventura. The WAV is an expensive eyesore that does very little to benefit the residents of Ventura; however, we have all are forced to subsidize this pooly planned project. The City Council made every exception under the sun to get this project built, and we will all pay in the long run. The WAV claims to help make Ventura a more beautiful city, however just look at their dirt parking lot lined with what appears to be abandoned vehicles and you can see that they are not living up to their motto.

posted by mmddss on 7/04/13 @ 03:09 p.m.

Sorry, Mr. Hill, but fracking has a history of damage to people's property and especially to the water supply. Likely people themselves have been damaged but causal links to cancer and other physical harm are hard to prove under any circumstances.

Successful lawsuits against the oil interests usually carry a proviso of nondisclosure that prevent the public from knowing about the consequences, but they have occurred. They are too numerous to cite in one post but this may help.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/04/us/04n...

A particularly harrowing case shown on a PBS station told the story of a couple whose farm was destroyed by a firm who had only the mineral rights to their property. The water table was contaminated, their cattle poisoned, they live on bottled water and the fodder they grow for livestock is unusable.

The oil industry always wants the public to assume the risks of their business. It's time for the public to send them packing.

posted by cassandra2 on 7/06/13 @ 06:12 a.m.

Should one read the New York Times link, you might note that the information denying fracking damage comes from industry sources, hardly unbiased ones.

No doubt the natural human tendency to see one's own actions in a positive light could blind anyone to the public danger such actions might entail. So Mr. Hill should be allowed some slack in terms of judging his sincerity. A less charitable judgment is called for vis-a-vis Exxon and the like. It should be remembered that initially Exxon funded disinformation about climate change and that the Kochs continue to do so.

posted by cassandra2 on 7/06/13 @ 06:33 a.m.

There is absolutely no proof whatsoever that fracking is a danger to private property or the water supply. These are simply talking points from the enviro-nuts who are apparently hell bent on keeping us dependent on foreign oil.

The answer to less reliance on oil from countries that hate our guts is to open up more exploration and drilling opportunities right here in the U.S. That would include fracking, more offshore drilling, and drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska where tons of oil deposits reside.

We need to pay more attention to drilling opportunities that exist here and less attention to the enviro wack jobs!

posted by rasta_man on 7/06/13 @ 12:55 p.m.

VC Readers might be interested in an event through Move/On coming up July 14.

"Imagine being able to light your Ventura tap water on fire.

That's a reality right now in communities across the country as the fossil fuel industry pushes our country into an all-out—and dangerous—"fracking" boom.1

Want to learn more about fracking and how to stop it? We've teamed up with Oscar-nominated filmmaker Josh Fox for a fun, informative, and sobering nationwide event to watch his new HBO documentary Gasland Part II on Sunday, July 14, and you can have a front row seat—in your own living room!

Fracking for gas and oil has been linked to water so contaminated that it catches fire, illness in residential neighborhoods, unusual earthquakes, dead livestock, and tanking property values. And the methane released by fracking is a far more potent global warming gas than carbon dioxide.2

The hopeful news is that MoveOn members are fighting back—and Gasland Part II gives us a powerful new weapon to grow our grassroots movement. That's why hundreds of MoveOn members are signing up to host a Gasland Part II Movie Party on Sunday, July 14."

Just google MoveOn and get the details of who near you is showing this film in their home--free. A chance to meet nice people, see a good film and learn about fracking from non-industry sources.

posted by cassandra2 on 7/07/13 @ 04:07 p.m.

This cassandra nut is a perfect example of all the unfounded hysteria swirling around fracking. There is absolutely no proof whatsoever to any of the claims she has made here about fracking.

I dare her to produce one unbiased scientific study that proves that fracking causes water to ignite into flames, causes illnesses in neighborhoods, causes earthquakes (chuckle...chuckle), kills livestock, and lowers property values.

She can't because this is all certified b.s. Just another "cause" for these enviro-nuts to rally around because they've got nothing better to do.

posted by rasta_man on 7/07/13 @ 11:00 p.m.

I would like to thank you for your comments and I would like to respond. Cassandra, In reading the NY Times article from 2011 it refers to a 1987 EPA report on one well drilled in West Virginia. After 2.5 million frack jobs done you can only point to ONE well? You would kill a technology for one well? I am sorry but that is just not reasonable. As far as that 1987 EPA report, there have been many more significant studies by universities and the EPA and US Geological Survey that you should read. You might learn something from scientists and not Hollywood people who just want to make a name for themselves. Ask Yoko or Josh what university they got there training in science. As far as Gasland part 2 I would refer you to:

http://energyindepth.org/national/debunk...

Seems that Josh Fox has again ignored the facts and used spin once more to try and make his crazy ideas plausible to people. Google FrackNation and watch the response to Fox's first stab at the industry.

Rasta_man thank you for the comments and chill out. The truth is winning, carbon emissions are going down because of cheap natural gas and people have good paying jobs.

Jim Hill

posted by jamesh on 7/17/13 @ 03:42 p.m.
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