Your Views: We need sense, dignity and freedom from fossil fuel

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Saturday, March 8, 2014

The Ogallala Aquifer supplies water to parts of eight contiguous states from South Dakota to Texas. Ninety-five percent of crops grown on the high plains use this source for irrigation. When buffaloes lived on deep-rooted grasses, water was ample. Indians wisely lived with nature’s whims for thousands of years.

After genius public policy experts told farmers to go west, plow up the grass and plant food crops, nature took revenge by blowing dried-up topsoil all the way to Washington, D.C. Enough wells were finally drilled from the 1940s forward to make the aquifer a dependable irrigation source for crops and supply drinking water for vast numbers of humans and animals.

The bad news is that water—originally estimated to be enough to fill Lake Huron—is only being regenerated at the rate of one cup per gallon used. The worse news is that billionaire oil companies want to gamble on polluting the aquifer with a tar sands oil pipeline. Public policy experts are again promoting fool’s gold. All those lives, livelihoods and a major food source put at risk so petroleum bullies can pay less tax, process the oil down South and sell it on the world market.

Wouldn’t it be smarter to process the oil where it is extracted and cheaper to export it from the west coast of Canada? Because Canadians rejected both ideas, hapless Americans must now bow as low as reigning corporations demand. We need more sense, dignity and freedom from fossil fuel.



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