Cumberland Times-News

February 18, 2011

If you’re concerned about our water, better read these books

To the Editor:
Cumberland Times-News

— Three recent books dealing with the realities of deep drilling for energy have much to teach all of us:

“In Too Deep,” BP and the Drilling Race that took it down, “Blowout in the Gulf,” The BP disaster ...the Future of Energy in America are both timely, scary and worth reading.

“Disaster on the Horizon” By Bob Cavnar, who started a 30-year career on oil rigs in Texas, Louisiana and off-shore, has a very revealing story of things gone wrong in the drilling game.

Often expressing his concerns in the Huffington Post blogs, his book will not draw raves among the drilling fraternity.

But if future water for Western Allegany and Garrett Counties concerns you, absorb his warnings about regulation of deep drilling.

Reorganization of Federal Minerals Management Service, whose staff was “shaken up and mostly replaced” after the BP mess, “created two new bureaucracies rather than fixing the one we had” and improvement of energy security is “badly needed and long overdue.”

Like the writer it is unlikely anyone seriously reviewing safety enforcement by combined efforts of state and federal efforts in Maryland and West Virginia will feel comfortable.

News from North Carolina and Pennsylvania, where the drillers have been “fracking” a mile down into gas shale, is not good! Dirty water coming back up is being “treated” and turned loose into the river that feeds our Bay.

Until this process is perfected, and potable water is produced from these mile deep-holes, “Save the Bay” could be a cruel joke!

A few legislators and county officials, who know little more of the potential effects of this process, are telling the rest of our legislators that regulation can work. Once the water is injected with its chemical soup, brought back and ‘treated’ these oil outfits will be gone, and the citizens will foot the bill! Cavnar’s book is only $15. and tax! Learn now, or regret later!

Thomas F. Conlon

Cumberland