No sense in fracking 

Ranger Rich

Today we will take a serious and scientific look at a controversial mining process known as fracking, in which water and deadly chemicals are forced deep into the earth to loosen deposits of gas and a thick and toxic oily sludge, which is then used to groom Mitt Romney's hair.

People who know little or nothing about this fracking process, such as the El Paso County Board of Commissioners and the Colorado Springs City Council, are known as a "bunch of fracking idiots."

Often, to get re-elected and avoid having to get an actual job, these fracking idiots talk for hours about this oil and gas drilling practice. Such debate is considered by experts to be a "monumental waste of fracking time."

We will talk more about these fracking idiots. First, some background.

Fracking was first used in 1947 at the gigantic Hugoton gas field in southwestern Kansas, three miles west of the town of Liberal (official town motto: "Whoops! Either We Have Lots of Gas or Somebody Just Stepped On a Duck").

The process gathered lots of attention in 2005 during the George W. Bush administration when the president, widely seen as being roughly as smart as a drill bit, was persuaded, along with the ethics superstars known as Congress, to ignore environmental concerns about fracking.

Spearheading the environmental loophole was President Bush's boss and nanny, Vice President Dick Cheney, a lifelong oil and gas baron. For those efforts, God rewarded Cheney with 433 good-sized heart attacks.

Among the things believed to be injected into the earth by fracking are hydrochloric acid, diesel fuel, formaldehyde and arsenic — all of which are considered key ingredients in my wife's meatloaf. (Footnote: Formaldehyde, a known carcinogen, is used in the manufacture of cars, paints and explosives. It is also used to preserve biological specimens such as anatomy-class frogs and Mayor Steve Bach.)

This very complex issue of fracking and environmental safety is now being addressed by both our county and village governmental bodies, which scientists say is not unlike placing a squirrel in charge of an aircraft carrier.

As I understand it, someone suspects vast fracking-ready gas reserves exist east of town in an area bordered by Applebee's, Black-Eyed Pea, Red Lobster and 142,000 identical beige or pastel houses. This has created concerns about whether the county and city will agree on oil and gas fracking regulations or whether the two governments will interact as they always have: by yanking the chairs out from under each other as they sit down.

As Councilman Val Snider, head of the city's new Oil and Gas Committee, explained to Indy writer Debbie Kelley last week: "We just don't know enough yet about the needs of the city."

Val, write this down: We need a couple of buses. And two guys with shovels and some asphalt to fill potholes. A working streetlight wouldn't be a bad idea, either, though the village's 250,000 crack and meth aficionados keep stealing the copper wire so they can buy another pit bull. If there's anything left, let's really go nuts and buy a snowplow and a bucket of sand.

Anyway, current County Commissioner Darryl Glenn, who used to be a City Councilor and thus fears he might become confused and screw himself, said this: "I want to make sure we have compatible regulations. When you're dealing with land use, you don't want to encourage any set of activities based on your regulations — for example, [a company] choosing to locate in the county or the city based on looser regulations."

Translation: Darryl still wonders about the city maybe loosening regulations in the early 1990s to lure Focus on the Family here from California. (Word on the street has always been that the city sweetened the pot by throwing in 500 employee bumper-stickers that said: "If Jesus Was Gay Would He Have Surrounded Himself With, Uh, 12 Other Guys Who Worshipped Him?")

So as we stumble into a brand-new year, here's hoping our city and county leaders can come together on this issue and that they'll give at least some thought to the environment.

Because no one wants a 28-legged frog with six eyes and a mane shooting out of our faucets when we turn on the water.

That would be just fracking ridiculous.


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