In a letter on May 21, Mr. Donald Lee, Member of St. Tammany’s Concerned Citizens Legal Committee, took Parish President Pat Brister to task for saying certain individuals are guilty of outright lies, etc., making it difficult to have an open debate. He called for her to name the persons to whom she referred and the lies they have told. From the accounts I have read, Ms. Brister is right. The raucous meetings don’t allow for presentation of the facts of Helis Oil and Gas operations for the drilling of a well.

In his letter, Mr. Lee said damage from hydraulic fracturing has been well-documented. However, he does not cite any specific cases or the places involved or exactly what the claimed damage was. I know there have been many claims, but few actual cases any place in the country where this has occurred. There have been several anecdotes that have been investigated and the instances were not attributed to fracturing. Does he have any such instances in the Haynesville play in North Louisiana which has been such a boon to that area? If so, what were the circumstances and how were they resolved?

Some of the reports in The Advocate have said fracking is a recent development. That is simply not true. About a million wells have been fracked in the past several decades. What is new is the development of drilling technology which permits horizontal drilling to be done over hundreds or even thousands of feet, thus allowing for multi-stage fracturing to allow for commercial production of oil and gas, and what a boon to our economy this has been in various parts of the country.

If meetings could be held where a presentation by Helis representatives, geologists and engineers, could be made in a civil atmosphere with questions being answered, this would clarify what is done to protect aquifers. After all, all wells drill through water tables. Technology for their protection has advanced along with other drilling operations. Unfortunately, there are always people who do not want to be bothered with the facts; but just want to make a lot of noise about something on which they do not wish to be educated. That same thing has happened whenever wells are drilled in new areas.

Wayne Blankenship Jr.

oil and gas independent