Texas Christian University’s The Daily Skiff offers this opinion piece from senior writing major Danny Peters, who might want to consider repeating some of his earlier journalism classes.
Under the headline “Air quality fears unfounded,” Peters insults the intelligence of Como residents by assuming they couldn’t grasp what a great economic “boom” drilling would be for “their neighborhood and their quality of life.”
Poor, poor dimwitted Como folks. They just didn’t realize how concerned gas drillers were about their quality of life.
He then insults his fellow students and “their overbearing parents” for being concerned about drilling on campus. Fortunately, he assures everybody that there won’t be any “BP-style offshore drilling rig explosions here in North Texas.” Safe bet, since offshore drilling isn’t exactly commonplace in non-coastal areas such as the Metroplex.
However, there have been plenty of local incidents involving explosions, deaths, leaks, spills, water contamination, and respiratory issues. Read just about any issue of Fort Worth Weekly from the last five years to learn about the many people and communities that have been threatened and harmed during the process of extracting natural gas in urban and rural communities.
Peters quotes Texas Commission on Environmental Quality spokesperson Terry Clawson as pooh poohing any concerns that residents might have about air quality. Yet the writer fails to point out that the TCEQ has a long history as an apologist and backscratcher to the oil and gas industy rather than serving as a regulatory agency with any teeth.
Peters speaks with authority when he says gas drilling lasts only about two weeks. Unfortunately, speaking with authority and speaking complete crap are not necessarily exclusive.
Finally, he assures us that “there is nothing to fear regarding the safety of and resultant air quality related to natural gas drilling in North Texas.”
Whew, thanks Peters for putting everyone’s minds at rest, especially the people whose water wells have been soured by nearby drilling, or those whose nerves and lives have been shattered by the constant din and vibration caused by compressor stations, or the people whose livestock became sick or died after drinking water tainted by chemicals, or the people who developed respiratory problems after drilling began nearby, or yadda yadda yadda. Peters has declared everyone safe. Halleluja!
Let’s just hope Peters, like any self-respecting college student, stayed up until 5 a.m. partying and shagging and was still mired in a hungover daze when he pulled this piece of puffery out of his posterior and handed it into TCU’s school of journalism that was named after veteran Washington correspondent and longtime Face The Nation host Bob Schieffer.
And, by the way, I’m glad the internet wasn’t yet invented and bloggers weren’t able to critique some of the lame drivel I published in my college paper back in the Stone Age.