Big money and politics are at work again, and Colorado drinking water is at more risk than ever, thanks to a blocked health risk study proposed regarding hydraulic fracturing (fracking).
Last week, Colorado House Bill 1297 was proposed, sponsored by Democrat Joann Ginal, who said, “There is lack of data on health risks” related to fracking. Indeed, one recent court ruling, in Wyoming, even held that the chemicals used in fracking, in spite of being inadequately studied regarding their health risks, are “company secrets,” and therefore except from public disclosure.
The study itself, expected to run about three years and $566,000, was later blocked by none other than Republican Frank McNulty, who responded “A well-regulated oil and gas industry [i.e. fracking] does not pose a public health threat.” [italics mine] Forgive me if I’m overstepping my bounds here, but wouldn’t that the purpose of the study, which would then effect regulations regarding fracking? So, if I’m understanding you correctly Mr. McNulty, no study would be tantamount to zero health risks, right? What you really meant to say was, “An unregulated fracking industry does not pose any public health threat, because we’re not going to bother to find out.”
Aside from this overwhelming stupidity, blocking of the proposed health risk study, Frank McNulty is going so far as to propose punishing Colorado towns for enacting fracking bans (can we call them “dry towns?”). So, instead of spending $566,000 on studying the health effects surrounding fracking operations, McNulty will spend more than $150,000 to prevent dray towns from getting severance grants or tax revenues, worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. Big money wins again, but I wonder where all the bodies will go.
Image © WikiMedia