Damnit Science, Fine. I’ll Get Political For You

President George W. Bush’s longtime hometown was Midland, TX. Praised as the foundation of so much good sense and morality in his book “Decision Points”, Midland also is the seat of W’s oil business, and it’s in Texas. Oh, for those of you that haven’t been to Texas.  The water by-and-large is undrinkable.  And now they’re running out of it in the moral center of G.W.Bush’s universe.  That’s not unfair, is it?  Let’s investigate.

Two of the three reservoirs that Midland and other Permian Basin cities rely on for most of their water are getting close to empty. The third is below 30 percent of capacity.

Which is causing Texas’ Governor, Rick Perry, to call for prayers for rain. 

All of Texas is extremely dry, and the parched vegetation is fueling huge wildfires across the state — prompting Gov. Rick Perry to urge prayers for rain this weekend.

OK, that wasn’t my serious play.  That was for funsies.

The region’s groundwater, in fact, has its own problems. Some of it contains high amounts of fluorides, arsenic or chlorides. Using more groundwater could require a desalination plant, which would cost tens of millions of dollars. Already, many Permian Basin residents fill up bottles at filtered-water kiosks on the street rather than drinking the tap water directly, because even the lake water has a high, although harmless, chloride content and tastes odd.

They’re running out of water. And what water they do have, and have had, sucks.

Why does it suck? Because rampant environmental deregulation has allowed oil and natural gas mining to dump toxins (how else do you think aresenic and chrlorides got in to natural aquifers?) into what was supposed to be potable drinking water.

And the article deals mostly with water usage restrictions, which the residents don’t like ’cause this is Texas. Capital T, Texas and we don’t like the government tellin’ us what to do. Nor telling oil and gas miners not to take what little water we have for hydraulic fracturing. 

Why, New York Times, was this not the focus of your article:

oil companies use water on the same lands, and their water-intensive drilling technique, hydraulic fracturing, could capture a significant part of the reserves. In isolated places around the region, leaks from old oil wells also affect the groundwater, water officials say.

Until we get serious with people, this won’t change. People won’t comprehend that regulation sometimes is necessary. Citizens will move out of dehydrated areas. Your home will be worthless. Of course, your lawn and your football fields are long dead. Life isn’t enjoyable in Midland, the article mentions, when nothing’s green and all this water is disappearing.  But if we don’t connect the dots for citizens, and Texans aren’t stupid I actually like Texas, what can we expect. 



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