senator james inhofe

Thu, 2014-02-06 08:58Sharon Kelly
Sharon Kelly's picture

In Pavillion, Wyoming Water Contamination Case, Questions Continue To Swirl About Oil and Gas Industry's Role

A funny thing happened when Idaho Dept. of Lands Oil and Gas Program Manager Robert Johnson stepped to the microphone at a public hearing this past fall. He said something that many have long suspected, but few officials have actually been willing to say bluntly and publicly.

He said that the oil and gas industry was responsible for the contaminated groundwater in Pavillion, Wyoming — referring to a high-profile case where environmentalists have alleged oil and gas drilling and fracking caused a town’s water supplies to go bad.  

Everybody's heard of Pavillion, Wyoming,” Mr. Johnson said. “OK. Pavillion was a leaking above ground pit that was not lined.”

Did the industry cause it?” Mr. Johnson said. “Yes they did.”

Later in his talk, Mr. Johnson also pointed to a faulty cement casing in a natural gas well as another factor in the case, describing EPA data showing pollution was caused “by a bad cement job on an Encana well that was drilled in 1985.”

His statement is noteworthy because, before coming to Idaho, Mr. Johnson was directly involved with the Pavillion investigation. He worked for the groundwater division of the Wyoming State Engineer’s Office, which has taken the lead role in the contamination investigation.

The comments, which were recorded by county officials and distributed by anti-drilling advocates, were also significant because they were so candid and because the state of Wyoming maintains that more study is needed before blame can be assigned. The state is currently investigating the Pavillion incident and expects to publish a report in September of this year.

Asked about the comments, Idaho state officials said that the remarks about wastewater pits were intended “to illustrate that the State of Idaho requires lined pits to avoid surface contamination,” adding that Mr. Johnson, an Idaho official, was not speaking on behalf of the State of Wyoming. Mr. Johnson worked for the oil and gas industry before joining the Wyoming State Engineer’s Office.

Thu, 2009-01-22 21:19Kevin Grandia
Kevin Grandia's picture

Another "Inhofian" moment for the head-in-sand Senator

Honestly, how much money would it take to defeat Senator James Inhofe (R-OK) the next time he runs for Senate? Because I don’t know about you, but I’m more than a little tired of Inhofe’s messed up logic when it comes to the science of climate change.

In a radio program today, Inhofe declared his victory because, ” the science is totally changed.” As Inhofe explains it,

 

“It was the IPCC, those intergovernmental panel on climate change with the United Nations. But keep in mind, the only report you get from them is their summary for policy docs. And those are not scientists. There’s only 52 scientists that signed on to those, to that, as opposed to what? Some 650 who now have rebuked that. And one last thing on my check list that has to be said is on Gore’s science fiction film, every assertion that he’s made has been refuted. I’m talking about hurricanes, sea level rises, ice caps, polar bears, you know. So, the science has turned around, but the economics has not turned around. And that’s what we need to remind people.”

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