The Cost of Freedom
T Boone Pickens will have us believe that natural gas wells are the answer to freedom from foreign oil. I am sure with what I have read on all sources of media and watched on the television that this is true. It is also true that we should not go blindly into the night on these issues. The companies that own and operate these wells are the biggest oil companies in the world. Companies such as Phillips, Exxon and yes BP. We face an undaunted disaster in our own gulf coast. Negligence and disregard for the public and Eco-systems has caused us, the United States of America to have to suffer the consequences not yet known and perhaps never known from the all time worst oil spill that continues to grow as of today this Independence Day. We have a boogeyman. We know who to blame it on. It is as plain as the mustache on Adolf Hitler's face. The culprit is a foreign oil company. It has hit us in the bread basket. Pristine gulf shores are now covered in tar balls. You can't turn on or read any form of media without getting blasted with pictures of beaches covered with the black goo or worse yet defenseless animals and birds covered in a orange black muck. I am not advocating that this should be taken lightly but it should be a wake up call. It makes good copy because it affects one of this nations “gold coast” areas and money is being lost to the owners of beach front properties and our favorite sea food items are being destroyed. More than anything else is the human suffering. People who's livelihood depends on that coast. An example is the oyster company that has been in business for seventy years and was the supplier for oysters for the Red Lobster chain is out of business overnight. Oil covered oysters are not very appetizing or safe to eat. What I am getting at is that natural gas wells are in every state. Although they are regulated by the EPA and abide by the rules arsenic and other really bad chemicals still find there way into our Eco-systems poisoning humans, wildlife and plants along the way. More stringent rules would apply to them if the wells were bigger. Even though these wells are owned by the biggest oil companies in the world, they are on small parcels of land and many of the rules do not effect them because of size. I am not saying to stop drilling. I agree with T Boone that this is a way of breaking our appetite for the crude oil. These wells right now if left un-checked could cause a disaster to pale in comparison to the gulf spill. Look at some of the Balkan states. Vast areas are uninhabitable because of unchecked wells of gas and oil. This of course is an exaggeration because of the rules we have that are regulated by the EPA should never let this happen. My concern is for the long term. Without even stricter rules we are slowly poisoning ground water and underground aquifers where we get our drinking water. The adage “ how much money is enough ?” and the answer is you can never have enough. Let us set ourselves apart from the greedy Sheiks in OPEC. The rest of the world thinks of American citizens as selfish money hungry people. T Boone and the rest of the oil barons could take a little less profit and protect the environment. I say this in a year when all of us myself included have lost our jobs only to find that new jobs, if they can be found pay much less and the cost of living goes up. I say this in a year when the oil and gas companies have reaped a all time high profit. I also know that these gas well are not on the gulf coast planted in the white sandy beaches. They are instead in areas most of us don't vacation in. The people who live around these wells know that they have lost their taste and smell to them. They have to put up with a well that is run 24/7. Spot-lights that shine all night and equipment that never shuts down. Not in my neighborhood is the anthem that is shouted by us all, but if the wells were better run and the problems did not exist would we change our tune? The BP spill effects big money and has one face, BP. The gas wells have many faces and don't effect the rich other than the people that run them. Do the right thing clean up your act before it is too late.