Cherry-picking energy facts

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When I call home (Las Vegas) and chat with my mom, it’s always great to go through the rundown of headlines in Vegas. It’s often the case that I know many of the issues already because I read through the “Optic” online and I chat with friends on Facebook regularly.

But my conversations with my mom allow me to see the community through her eyes.

When she raises an issue in the course of our conversations, I know it’s something lots of other people are also talking about.

“Fracking” seems to be one of the biggest local conversations right now.

As you may know, “fracking” or “hydraulic fracturing” is the term used to describe the process of injecting a high pressure mix of water and chemicals into the ground to extract petroleum from shale rocks.

When I think of “fracking” I often imagine the process of donating blood. Technicians are taught to prick the skin carefully to make sure they never accidentally introduce air into the body. Because of course that could damage veins and could cause infections.

In a recent letter written for the Optic a certain writer demanded “credible evidence” supporting their concerns about hydraulic fracturing. The letter writer called for unbiased evidence that the mining process poses a large-scale threat to the water table and the community at large.

He’s also labeled opponents of hydraulic fracturing as participants of “Groupthink.”

What’s curious about this author’s posts is an earlier column against other energy issues that have recently been raised, like for example wind energy.

Seems this author is fine with oil companies injecting chemicals into the ground at the potential risk of affecting the limited groundwater resources of the community. However, allowing wind farms is a non-starter because they can diminish the beautiful vistas.

I would encourage said author to research the skylines of communities that currently have large-scale hydraulic fracturing operations. The drills, and pumps, and tanker trucks, and pipes, and trade secret chemicals that come along with that process are not very pretty.

I would also encourage people to research all of these energy issues very carefully. And try to be aware of cherry-picked facts on both sides.

Sergio Quintana
San Francisco, Calif.