Crusade on science
Your editorial on the Railroad Commission’s investigation presupposes that gas drilling caused elevated methane levels in Parker County groundwater. Why are convenient theories more credible than science?
In 2011, a comprehensive geochemical analysis showed that the methane was originating from a shallow formation called the Strawn, not gas drilling.
Strawn gas has high nitrogen content, whereas Barnett Shale gas — which otherwise looks similar — has low nitrogen content. That was how the Railroad Commission determined that drilling wasn’t the culprit.
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Nonetheless, the commission decided to investigate again.
The results confirmed the previous assessment, but also found several residents had unfortunately drilled their water wells into a gas-bearing zone below the aquifer.
That explains the presence of methane and why it has a shallower gas fingerprint.
Penn State geoscientist Terry Engelder has also looked at the data.
Based on a geochemical comparison, Engelder determined: “There is no link between fracking and groundwater contamination in the Fort Worth Basin.”
For nearly four years now, anti-fracking groups and some in the media have tried their hardest to blame gas drilling for water contamination in Parker County.
The casualty of this reckless crusade is science, which used to be worth something.
— Ed Ireland, Executive Director,
Barnett Shale Energy Education Council, Fort Worth
These are my objections to openly carrying firearms:
First, how adept and trained are these gun owners?
As a police officer, I had to qualify once a year to carry a weapon.
Later, as a federal task force agent, I had to qualify four times a year.
I was surrounded by people who were firearms experts.
Despite all that, I know officers and agents who shot themselves and others accidentally, who had their firearms taken away and used against them, and who were surprised on the street and in businesses by criminals who killed the officers before they could react.
Simply carrying a gun is not going to protect the carrier or anyone else.
Secondly, who are these people?
The ones who have been protesting claim they are sane and law-abiding, but if open carry becomes law, people like Elliot Rodger could legally carry weapons, too.
In a video of an interaction between Arlington police and open-carry proponents, some of the proponents were rude, uncooperative and obviously agitated.
How easy would it be for one of these folks to tip over the edge?
If I walk into a business where someone has a rifle slung over a shoulder, I’m walking out.
— Cynthia Patterson, Benbrook
A noted psychiatrist once stated that if you must go crazy, do it in a group and you can get by with it.
I think that’s exactly what happened at the Texas Republican Biennial Convention in downtown Fort Worth.
They all come across as being more than a little on the nutty side, both outside and inside the convention hall.
Outside, there is a band of gun-toters flashing rifles and pistols, claiming that it is their constitutional right.
Even the NRA initially condemned their behavior. Could it possibly get any worse than that?
The spectacle inside the hall speaks for itself.
Reason has been cast aside, and the fringe element, with all its paranoia on display, is in control.
That’s not healthy, neither for the Republican Party nor for the nation.
On the other hand, it does give hope and optimism to the Democrats.
Sane Republicans must be cringing in horror.
— James S. Kersey,
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