Saturday, November 14, 2009

Did I Do That? Just Another Bad Sitcom

I was reading an article about Carlsbad, New Mexico about a new attraction that has appeared off U.S. 285. I'm familiar with U.S. 285 because that's the highway the kids and I take to visit the Caverns, The Living Desert and Roswell, New Mexico home of the Aliens. I love sight seeing and was thinking about hopping in the car this weekend and taking the kids for a little day trip. Well, imagine my surprise when I find out that the new attraction is an extremely unstable cavern caused by three decades of oil field drilling. Seems that "oil field service companies pumped fresh water into a salt layer more than 400 feet below the surface and extracted SEVERAL MILLION barrels of brine to help with drilling."

I don't know about you, but I always felt certain that if you have a cavern full of liquid and that liquid is helping it stay intact that once you remove most of the liquid, then sooner or later it will collapse. And guess what? I'm just an English teacher and I figured that one out.

Poor old New Mexico isn't unique, other communities in Texas, Kansas, Michigan, Canada and Europe have become alerted to similar underground danger when cracks appeared and the ground began to sink. Seems like I remember seeing something like that just the other day. I don't know, with all the H2S in the air, my memory isn't as good as it used to be.

Oh, and you want to know the best part? Guess who has to pay for the stabilization of the man made cavern? I bet you're thinking the oil and gas companies responsible for this mess. Well, darlin' you'd be thinking wrong. Nope, state and federal funds have to be freed up for this undertaking, while big oil and gas drives away with the town of Carlsbad in their rear view mirror, snickering above the screams and explosions, "Did I do that?"

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