By The Bakersfield Californian
In her Oct. 20 column, Lois Henry offers refreshing and welcome objectivity as a contrast to the rising emotion around hydraulic fracturing ("Looking for the truth on fracking makes for compelling film").
In several meetings I have attended, and in conversations with concerned family and friends on this topic, there remains a seemingly unshakeable foundation of fear exacerbated by the lack or rejection of data from current and historical oilfield activities and the regulations/regulators that govern them.
Sensational films such as "GasLand" have proven effective in energizing opposition to hydraulic fracturing with viewers happy to repeat proven inaccuracies as if they are established fact. Interestingly, five pages further into the Oct. 20 Local section was a story from The Associated Press on the recent realization that hydraulic fracturing has been conducted offshore California for some time, inferring that this had been hidden from public view for some nefarious purpose ("State finds more instances of offshore fracking").
While dedicating the bulk of the column to possible future environmental impacts and the organizations that make these claims, Henry cannot help but report that there is no evidence of any compromises in these wells resulting in leaks or contamination, and that, according to its charter, the Long Beach Water Department has been diligently monitoring this project annually, also finding no impacts.
I applaud Henry and The Californian for seeking the truth rather than riding the tidal wave of misinformation on hydraulic fracturing.