Opinion » Letters

Can we speak honestly about oil?


In response to "Like Oil and Water" and how the oil companies are misleading our community on Measure G, Katie Ferrari describes how every barrel of oil the field is accompanied by 19 barrels of highly contaminated "produced water" (Sept. 6).

What she fails to mention is that "produced water" never was drinkable water. It is ancient water, which is naturally highly contaminated with minerals and naturally occurring chemicals and cannot be used for any human activity. It is not drinking water that has been polluted during the oil extraction process. The drinking water aquifer is not contaminated during oil extraction.

The second major risk, according to her, "can" be earthquakes triggered by increased wastewater injection. Produced water from the drilling process is inserted back into the aquifer from which it came or is cleaned up and re-purposed, so there is no "increased wastewater injection," which might cause earthquakes.

Fracking has never been used in this county, and there are no plans to do so as it is not necessary.

An Aug. 30 article in the New Times ("Morro Rock, Montana de Oro, Irish Hills among areas reviewed by feds for fracking and oil drilling") mentions all the areas that might be subject to fracking, but only at the very end of the article does it mention that these are federal lands and would not be governed by Measure G.

It would be nice to have an honest discussion of the problems associated with oil drilling.

Peter Byrne

Paso Robles

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