Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Tsk...Tsk...Tsk...Hutchison is such a Cop Out!

A while ago, I sent a pleasant email to Kaye Bailey Hutchinson, pleading with her to consider co-sponsoring the FRAC Act. Here's my email:

I urge you to co-sponsor H.R. 2766/S. 1215 to repeal the
exemption for hydraulic fracturing in the Safe Drinking Water
and require public disclosure of the chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing fluids. This exemption, also known as the "Halliburton Loophole," means that hydraulic fracturing, an increasingly common aspect of the oil and gas production process, is not subject to the same standards as other industries when it comes to protecting underground sources of drinking water. It is one of several environmental loopholes granted to the oil and gas production industry. Hydraulic fracturing involves the injection of fluids, often containing toxic chemicals, into oil or gas wells at very high pressure. This technique fractures the underground formation and can cause underground sources of drinking water to become contaminated. Other forms of underground injection are regulated under the Safe Drinking Water Act to protect drinking water, but in 2005 Congress exempted hydraulic fracturing from the act to benefit Halliburton and other oil and gas companies. I am concerned that some families have already experienced drinking water contamination linked to hydraulic fracturing operations. Communities across the country are suffering from pollution caused by the oil and gas industry. We should hold this industry to the same standards as any other and close the Halliburton Loophole, and all other loopholes, to achieve consistent federal oversight. Natural gas may be an important part of our energy portfolio, but the right balance needs to be established between oil and
gas development
and protection of our precious natural
, including clean air and clean water. This legislation is simple, straightforward and reasonable, and I hope you will co-sponsor it. Every American deserves clean drinking water. Sincerely, Joely Trujillo P O BOX 337 Wink, TX 79789

And here's how she responded:

Thank you for contacting me regarding S. 1215, the Fracturing Responsibility and Awareness of Chemicals Act (FRAC). I welcome your thoughts and comments.
On June 9, 2009, Senator Robert Casey Jr. (D-PA) introduced S. 1215. Hydraulic fracturing pumps large volume fluids into a formation. The formation warms and causes a high-pressure combustion to increase oil production. The FRAC Act would amend the Safe Drinking Water Act to require companies to disclose the chemicals they use in their hydraulic fracturing processes. On the same day the legislation was introduced, the FRAC Act was referred to the Committee on Environment and Public Works, on which I do not serve. Should S. 1215 come for consideration before the full Senate, please be assured that I will keep your comments in mind. I appreciate hearing from you, and I hope that you will not hesitate to contact me on any issue that is important to you. Sincerely, Kay Bailey Hutchison United States Senator

I've read and re-read this email several times, and for the life of me...I can't figure out if she's for it or against it. So, I sent a follow up email asking her to clarify her position:

As your constituent and a supporter of the work of the League of
Conservation Voters
, I just became aware of your poor environmental voting record in the 2005 National Environmental Scorecard. I am deeply disappointed that you consistently voted against commonsense environmental protections. When it comes to protecting our air, water and natural heritage from corporate polluters and developing a forward-looking energy policy, we need a Member of Congress who will stand up and do the right thing. You conveniently told me that you do not serve on the FRAC Act committee, while omitting vital information: "On the same day the legislation was introduced, the FRAC Act was referred to the Committee on Environment and Public Works, on which I do not serve. Should S. 1215 come for consideration before the full Senate, please be assured that I will keep your comments in mind." What comments of mine will you keep in mind? That the toxic water used in fracturing is deadly? I'm curious to know your feelings on the FRAC Act and what way you plan on voting. I believe that as MY STATE
in the senate, I have a right to know. You owe me full disclosure. I am hoping that your constituency and I can count on you to represent our views and vote to protect the environment more frequently in the key debates expected in the second session of the 109th Congress. Sincerely, Joely Trujillo

I can't wait to get a response. It's like waiting to open Christmas presents!


Don Young said...

I received a similar letter from Cornyn today. Totally clueless. Those two are 2 of a kind.

Cheap Tricks and Costly Truths said...

I never got a response from Cornyn.

Gar said...

You are too nice. I sent a bitchy email to Kay a few years ago and one of "her people" gave me a phone call. It wasn't helpful though. Just called to tell me personally that I was wrong... I thought I was wrong once, but I was mistaken.

Cheap Tricks and Costly Truths said...

I try to be mean, but it comes out all wrong.

twister said...

She's bought and paid for, as are most of them.