Letters to the Editor – May 2021

E-Note

Biden is going big. He should also go big when it comes to the arts and our cultural infrastructure. The arts too often are a side order; it’s linked to economic recovery in order to persuade the business community that there is profit in paintings and poems. Give developers a stage to stand on, and they might build a theater.

Can Biden go bigger than the WPA (Works Progress Administration, renamed in 1939 as the Work Projects Administration)? Putting artists back to work is a highway to beauty.

Cities are cultural destinations and now must be reimagined after this pandemic. What new music must be composed as we sway into the future? What dance do we dance if we are to embrace the motion of history?

Go big with art Biden.

Ethelbert Miller
Fresno

Fracking, Pollution and Poisoning Our Air

The remaining oil in California is thick and takes a lot of chemicals or energy (steam) to liquefy and extract. They burn petroleum to heat steam. Even the state oil regulator, CalGEM [California Geologic Energy Management Division], believes that high-pressure cyclic steam injection is dangerous and causes spills.

There have been several recent leaks from oil industry equipment. In April, there was an oil spill at the Inglewood Oil Field. Over 1,600 gallons of oil flowed near Black communities. Near Los Angeles, Jill Johnston was air monitoring and found hydrogen sulfide odors that come and go at different periods.

Workers cleaning oil waste tanker trucks were exposed to high levels of radiation. There were incidents of lung cancer in oil workers attributed largely to their job. The natural gas pipes that carry fracked gas have high radioactivity, sometimes unsafe levels of polonium that can kill. After the gas storage blew, residents of Porter Ranch had uranium in their hair.

Six percent of hydraulic fracturing wells fail immediately, and 50% fail over 30 years.

In 2018, there were approximately 3 million abandoned oil or gas wells that were not plugged properly in the United States emitting 7 million metric tons of CO2 equivalent. In Pennsylvania, abandoned wells represent 5%–8% of total human-caused methane emissions, contributing to the climate crisis.

Approximately 2 million–9 million gallons of water are required for a single fracking job. Clay Rodgers of the Central Valley Regional Water Board said that fracking wastewater is not allowed to be reused for irrigation of crops or potable water. It must be disposed of (usually underground).

There are 55,000 underground oil-wastewater injection wells in California associated with a 3x increase in the number of earthquakes.

Laura Rosenberger
Fresno

  • The Community Alliance is a monthly newspaper that has been published in Fresno, California, since 1996. The purpose of the newspaper is to help build a progressive movement for social and economic justice.

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