June 12, 2013
I read with interest your article on Holly Mitchell's fracking moratorium bill. Personally I think it's wisest to understand the full environmental implications of this practice before continuing it, particularly in an earthquake prone area.
I then read the commentary by Jack Cox because I am interested in alternative viewpoints. I also checked out the study and website of this institute that Jack Cox is affiliated with.
A note at the end of Cox's opinion piece states that his institute supports "objective analysis," but that's not what the website and study lead me to believe. Firstly, here is one of the opening statements in the research study that is being referred to:
"Many of the technical, practical and environmental challenges are not addressed in this report."
I'm not sure how it's possible to support an "objective analysis" of the practice of hydro fracking without addressing the technical, practical and environmental challenges. That would be like doing an objective report on the health benefits of Twinkies because one of the ingredients happens to be water.
Furthermore, even as a report which focuses on only one aspect of a complex issue, this is not an objective report. Here's another direct quote:
"This report provides an indication that there is one potential bright spot in California's economic future: the increased production of energy."
This sounds more like advocacy than objectivity. The report reminds me of the claims in many states that legalized gambling is the key to saving the economy, ignoring the increased number of otherwise functional citizens who lose their savings and wind up costing the state more in the long run when they require increased social services.
I highly suggest researching the types of jobs that fracking brings to an area. Is this a real economic benefit for local residents, or a temporary boom in low end jobs that might leave communities in worse shape socially afterwards, in addition to the potential environmental consequences?
It's also worth noting that there are many potential bright spots in California's economic future, not just increased energy production.
I appreciate that the Observer presents a variety of viewpoints on all issues. I urge all concerned persons to do further research to investigate commentary that might not be as objective as it claims to be.