Sarcastic Varney Editorial Disrespectful to St. Tammany Citizens

The recent editorial by James Varney entitled “The anti-fracking concert tour continues in St. Tammany” was unnecessarily disrespectful to St. Tammany citizens by making fun of legitimate community concerns over fracking in St. Tammany Parish.  Mr. Varney apparently has little regard for the  microbiologist who spoke at the Monday night meeting and summarily discounted her presentation.  Perhaps he might be more influenced  by a fellow journalist, namely Wall Street Journal energy reporter Russell Gold, who wrote the recent book entitled The Boom: How Fracking Ignited the American Energy Revolution and Changed the World.  

In addition to outlining the history of fracking, the author points out serious problems which developed in certain communities in Texas, New York and Pennsylvania where concentrated drilling activity outpaced proper planning and precautions.  Gold concludes his book as a general proponent of fracking activity, but with the following caveat “What’s the rush?”

That seems to be the same sentiment of St Tammany citizens and public officials who are trying to understand the impact of the activity on their daily lives.  The author also points out, contrary to Mr. Varney’s unsubstantiated speculation, that energy use is actually decreasing in the United States due to conservation and more energy efficient vehicles, including the trucks and SUV’s that Mr. Varney apparently has such a problem with

Mr. Varney concludes his article with the statement that “disaster is neither guaranteed nor likely.”  This “don’t worry” attitude is contrary to some of the serious fracking issues that some of my colleagues in the legislature have confided to me and which include noise, smells, pollution, congestion and ruined roads.  In fact, one of my colleagues compared the scope of fracking operations in his area to a large military maneuver and contrasted his remote rural location with the much more populated site of the proposed drilling in St. Tammany. 

In fact, the fracking site chosen off I-12 and Highway 1088 is zoned residential and is 2000 feet from a school.  St. Tammany citizens have a right to be concerned as their community and quality of life is at risk. 


Tim Burns

State Representative District 89


Link to the above referenced article:

Posted in Uncategorized

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