News Nuggets, 25 August 2009: Fracking fluid, it’s toasted!

Dug up fresh, daily.

SECRET FORMULA: In Wyoming it’s the same as it is here in Colorado. “How in god’s name can the oil industry dump sh*t in our drinking water and not tell us what it is?” shouted Alan Hofer, who lives in Pavillion, Wyo., near a center of drilling sites being investigated by the EPA.

“If they’d tell us what they were using, then you could go out and test for things, and it would make it a lot easier, right?” asked Jim Van Dorn, another of the concerned citizens at a recent public meeting.

But the industry won’t reveal what’s in the various secret fracturing sauces it blasts down into the earth to bring up natural gas. The oil and gas companies want to tell us. They do. It’s just that we’re asking them to reveal industry secrets. It’s not like when they do tell us, we’ll be horrified and ask them what the hell they’ve been thinking poisoning people for profits and obfuscating about it for years. It’s not like citizens will have to then file mega lawsuits to get the industry to finally pay for the damage it has already done by that point to people’s lives. This is America. You can trust corporations to tell the truth and do the right thing.

MUSTARD BREACH: Saddam didn’t get this batch of the poison our military scientists made. Turns out we stored it right here in Pueblo, in an igloo. But you know the old song: “How you gonna keep that mustard down there in the igloo, son, when the mustard justa wantsa be free?”

SHOCKING: Two lawsuits challenging oil-shale plans approved by the Bush administration claim officials improperly curtailed public comment and didn’t consider the development’s potential effects on the environment. Oil shale: it’s expensive, environmentally disastrous and water-use intensive. What’s not to like?

OPEN WIDE: CU is reviewing how it conducts president searches for its various campuses. The university regents are weighing options. If it may, the Colorado Independent suggests as a guiding philosophy that the public university seek in all the mechanics and deliberations of the process the highest possible degree of transparency. Otherwise, the regents and boards and other important people will just see themselves beset by annoying politicians and concerned citizens and bloggers, who will come poking around, defying expectations of silent obeisance, writing nasty things and filing lawsuits. And that kind of unseemly turn of events is to be avoided at all costs.

TASER ME, BRO: The Recovery Act is paying for all kinds of things, including public safety personnel and drug enforcement officers and lots of their equipment.

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About the Author

John Tomasic

Writer, editor, teacher, web wrangler. He has worked for art, business, culture, politics publications, five universities and a UN war crimes commission. @johntomasic | 720-432-2128 |

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