Letter: ECA’s track record is troubling – Billings Gazette, Sept. 30, 2014

September 30, 2014

Categories: Beartooth Front Defense Fund, Letters, Oil and gas

http://billingsgazette.com/news/opinion/mailbag/eca-s-track-record-is-troubling/article_07bc047f-e18f-51da-aae9-521e0cb7619c.html

Energy Corporation of America, the company that wants to bring “a little bit of the Bakken” to our community, has a troubling safety record. In Pennsylvania, ECA has had 66 state inspections resulting in 90 separate violations, 55 enforcement actions and fines of more than $80,000. In West Virginia, there are 70 more violations.

These violations include letting fracking wastewater flow into a trout stream, faulty cement casings on a well bore and failure to cap abandoned wells — all of which allow toxic chemicals to seep into the air and ground, resulting in water contamination.

ECA’s fracking activities (and all companies involved with fracking) are exempt from the clean water drinking act. If clean water is valued by society and by Congress, why are companies who utilize chemicals in the very core of their activities exempt? This is like exempting commercial airlines from FAA regulations. Chemicals in a bottle of shampoo must be clearly disclosed, but ECA need not disclose the chemicals used in fracking, the chemicals that could enter our aquifer.

Ronald Reagan said, “Trust but verify.” ECA’s track record does not warrant trust. Montanans must be able to “verify” in order to protect our land, our water and our health. It is time for county, state and federal officials to make sure that any and all oil drilling is conducted on terms that are safe for us, not just convenient for a company that is only focused on profit. Once groundwater is contaminated, there is no turning back.

Lee Wilder
Nye

 

NORTHERN PLAINS RESOURCE COUNCIL
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Billings, Montana 59101
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