Letter: Overstated gas benefits | PostIndependent.com

Letter: Overstated gas benefits

David Ludlam pontificates with his strawman argument concerning the lifestyle improvements natural gas will bring and has brought around the world. Aside from our fleeces and many things modern, Mr. Ludlam claims methane will give us a chance at “nourishing human populations” and “feeding starving children in Sudan.” And for these reasons the Thompson Divide Coalition and the Post Independent were narrow and wrong and maybe selfish.

The starving children in Sudan are suffering from effects of climate change, fossil fuel-induced drought and I guarantee they don’t wake up in the middle of the night and ask for a cup of natural gas. Whose priorities are narrow?

First, the arguments put forth by the Thompson Divide Coalition always centered on water and not drilling in a source of drinking water, recreation, grazing, for so many.

Nowhere, not once in Mr. Ludlam’s full-throated defense of his natural gas industry and his livelihood was the word water. Not the fact that it takes from 2 million to 9 million gallons of water for a fracked well to produce. And of course he didn’t mention this area as a source of drinking water where a leak could occur, the ones that take weeks to detect.

But his most telling statement was this: “We should drill for natural gas where it exists.” This is the stated policy of the gas industry and our state government, and is absolutely absurd. The “easy” and out-of-sight gas wells have for the most part been drilled. So they believe we should move on to watersheds and areas within feet of schools and residences. Even people who own their mineral rights should be forced into drilling with “forced pooling.” Perhaps they will tap the gas under our hot springs pools, or somewhere on Aspen mountain. Literally nowhere is safe.

Ludlam complains that the Post Independent did not list all the glorious, obscure and conventional uses of natural gas; and being pleased with the outcome of the BLM decision feeds “the echo chamber of homogenous affluence.” Think about that as a spokesman for this industry. It’s a case of the pot calling the kettle black. The Divide supporters look to the future of their children and Ludlam’s, should he move there. His arguments are in defense of the bottom line of an industry which our lives depend on us moving away from.

And, I’m sorry, but not mentioning the role of methane in climate change makes Mr. Ludlam appear an uninformed and simple-minded cheerleader, unwilling or unable to see the obvious, threatening, increasingly dark, big picture.

Barb Coddington
Glenwood Springs

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