'Close your doors and go away:' readers react to fracking investigation

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Reader reaction to “Big Oil, Bad Air,” a project jointly unveiled this week by the Center for Public Integrity's Jim Morris, InsideClimate News and The Weather Channel about the South Texas oil boom and the chemicals released into the air, continues to pour in. Most of it has been positive:

From a man who recently drove through Texas’ Eagle Ford Shale region on his way to Arizona:

“I have never seen the scope or intensity of the destruction as I witnessed in that trip. ‘It’s big,’ I said to myself. ‘Why is there no opposition and national attention to this?’ You have answered my question…”

From a woman from upstate New York:

“It’s not that I am or ever was against natural gas…I am against people not being informed or empowered to soberly look at our dependence on fossil fuels and what seems to be a strong effort on the part of very powerful players to limit the public’s options to either decrease dependency or move more quickly toward renewables…Thanks for your work, which may very well help a few folks in Texas.”

From a man in one of the South Texas drilling areas:

“Thank God for Jim Morris and the Center for Public Integrity. Mr. Morris told our story with honesty and dignity.”

Not everyone has been complimentary. One man wrote:

“Frankly, I wish you people would close your doors and go away. The damage you do to the economy under the name of environmental concerns is unacceptable and a problem for our country, not a solution. You are the problem.”

Wrote another:

“Hysteria mongers like Ceres, like Bill McKibben, like the Center for Public Integrity…would have our policymakers toss away all of these jobs, reject all of this massive economic impact, and toss aside all the strategic advantages the oil and natural gas boom has brought to this country and its people over the last six years.”

On Facebook, one man wrote:

"Keep up the good work... it is very disturbing to read more news about public officials profiting from Big Oil, seemingly to turn a blind eye to dirty pollution and public health hazards. Shame on those complacent public employees... their inaction is harming our health.

Another woman had this to say:

"Central Texas as experienced recently along the Interstate is certainly a stinky, torn-up, run-down, price-inflated depressing mess, for sure. I did think that in addition to the stink, the air felt bad to breathe. I was stunned to experience what we'll allow ourselves to go through for a few more gallons of an obsolete fuel source, when I could plainly see the abundant sun and wind all around. Money and short-term thinking sure have hypnotized a lot of people.

A man wrote:

"Let's just [stick] our heads in the tar sands and pretend that the oil and gas needs of the world are paramount to our health. This is just crazy.

And in reference to an investigation of Texas lawmakers' financial investment in oil companies, a man wrote:

"This should be illegal and all of them should be in jail.