Don’t suspend disbelief


To the Editor:

The first oil field was discovered at Prudhoe Bay on March 12, 1968, by Atlantic Richfield Company (ARCO) and Exxon. They re-injected the associated gas for future use, but now don’t believe America needs all that gas. They have determined U.S. needs for natural gas can be met by fracturing America’s underbelly of shale rock a couple miles down.

Common sense would seem to indicate that a natural gas pipeline paralleling the existing oil pipeline from Prudhoe Bay to Valdez, on American soil, built and managed by Americans would be the preferred option, and in all likelihood, cost less than the $35 billion pipeline proposed through Canada. The pipeline bifurcates in Alberta, so oil companies can use the gas to heat and melt the bitumen in the Canadian tar sands. Whatever’s left will be sent down to the lower 48?

But I keep forgetting, America doesn’t really need all of that Prudhoe Bay natural gas. There is more than enough for everyone, locked in rock just waiting to be blasted with a chemical cocktail, under pressure, that just might lubricate tectonic joints, just enough to make them slip a little.

By the way, the EPA will be undertaking a two-year study to pass judgment and allay citizen concerns with regard to safety. Don’t worry about the next two years. The industry has things well in hand; just trust them to do it right. After all, the chances are very, very, small that a possible land-based Deepwater Horizon-type incident might occur in the next two years from our hydraulic fracturing operations.

Oh, and don’t concern yourself with Russia’s participation in the Canadian pipeline project. It has nothing to do with any deals that might have been struck as payback for our involvement with President Reagan’s strategy that hastened the collapse of the Soviet Union, freeing up a third of Soviet oil and natural gas in the Caspian. Russia’s participation is a mere coincidence.

Oh, and the reason the Congress hasn’t yelled and screamed about this not being an all-American project, has nothing to do with the money we will spend on the upcoming election. We believe the Congress wants to help our friends north of the border first, and America second. That just seems to be the American way.

Peter Cabana

Vineyard Haven