Hero Wyoming Judge Defends Privacy Of Oppressed Corporate Ground-Poisoners


It's a situation that's happened before, but it's aggravating every time it happens: There are some environmental groups in Wyoming who requested documents about fracking from the state's Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, see, and state officials and courts and the governor and everybody have gotten into a contest over who can dive on top of the natural gas companies first, to protect them from the evil interests of "everyone who lives in Wyoming."

The groups wanted lists of the chemicals used in the fracking process, claiming something about how it's "in everybody's water" and "nobody can pee anymore" or whatever, standard hippie shit. You will be happy to know, however, that these lists were NOT released, no sir, because they are seeeecrets.

The AP tells us the tale:

Environmental groups had requested the ingredient lists from the Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, arguing that the public needs to know what chemicals companies are putting underground.

They were denied on the grounds that the lists are trade secrets that may be withheld under Wyoming's open records law.

If a guy wants to poop in a reservoir, everybody yells at him and is all like, "Don't be stupid, nobody wants poop in the reservoir," and then the guy doesn't get to poop in the reservoir. But when companies want to suck natural gas out of the ground with the help of benzene and xylene and toluene and GiveYouCancer-ene, that's totally fine, because they are for-profit companies, and if there's anything you can trust for-profit companies to do, it's the right thing.

So don't try asking them what the hell they're doing to your groundwater — you'll wreck the surprise! It is much more exciting to try washing your dishes one day and discover that your tap water is now made of fire. You have a problem with that? What, do you hate freedom?

But the companies aren't unreasonable — if you wake up one day and your face is covered in bleeding lesions, for example, they will tell your doctor what's wrong with your face, but then use the courts to gag the doctors trying to tell you what's wrong with you. Trade secrets and all, you know. Plus, gross, your face.

It's all a moot point though — the companies are doing everything totally by the book! Everything is fine, and this whole thing is an overreaction — right, CNN? Nothing bad has happened out there?

The Environmental Protection Agency said this week that chemicals from "fracking," a controversial method of extracting natural gas from the ground, have polluted groundwater in Wyoming.

Oh no!

Within these wells, researchers found synthetic chemicals associated with the fracking process as well as high methane levels and benzene concentrations "well above" Safe Drinking Water Act standards.

That sounds bad! Is that bad?

As a precautionary step, the Department of Health and Human Services has advised local residents to use alternative sources of water for drinking and cooking and to use ventilation when showering, in order to air out potentially dangerous chemicals.

Ventilation in the tub? Get the governor on the phone! This is crazy new information!

Ha, just kidding, that article was from more than a year ago. Nobody cares. Look what Gov. Matt Mead said the other day:

"This decision recognizes the importance of a state-based approach to regulating hydraulic fracturing — one that balances this important method for producing energy with environmental protection," he said Monday through spokesman Renny MacKay.

"Environmental protection," in this case, means "let them do whatever they want," on account of if nobody knows what the gas companies are pumping into the ground, when crazy hydrocarbons start showing up in people's water supplies, the companies can just say it wasn't them, and those carcinogens were probably there all along and nobody noticed, whatever, cancer is fake anyway.

Mead is super into letting gas companies do what they want — and when the feds are all like, "hey, maybe we should look into this," you better believe Mead is right there saying they don't need to worry their pretty little heads about the nice old oil companies.

Regulation kills jobs, after all. All fracking does is wreck land, water, wildlife, public health, and everybody's property values. No big deal, right? Even if it WAS a big deal, we couldn't talk about it anyway — it's a secret.

Check out Wonkette on Facebook and Twitter, and, if you're interested in other releases of toxic gas, Rich Abdill is on Twitter too.


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