Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Just in case you still aren't convinced....

that drilling for gas in the Laguna Madre could have truly horrible repercussions, you might want to check out the "Letter from Wyoming" in the Feb. 5 issue of the New Yorker. Read the abstract here.

This part of Wyoming is experiencing a boom in natural-gas exploitation, but locals still refer to the drilling fields as “the oil patch.” Sublette, with a population of 7,000, insists on its identity as a ranching community. But the truth is that oil-patch jobs-and the accompanying crime and drug use-are overwhelming ranching in the community. Since 2000, almost 1,800 new wells have been added, and 7,000 more have been approved for drilling in the next 10 years. Energy companies are pushing for unfettered access to private and public lands in the area. Wyoming’s leaders are almost all pro-energy development. Mentions Gillette syndrome-the depression and lawlessness that come with mineral wealth. A recent report by Ralph Boynton shows the Sublette crime rate rising by 30% from 2004 to 2005; air quality and the quality of life have also been affected. With the arrival, since 2000, of nearly 3,000 roughnecks, off-rig boredom has increased and this helps explain some of exploding crime rate. Fuelling all this is the growing use of methamphetamines-primarily crystal meth, the roughneck’s drug of choice.

I have the whole article if anyone wants to borrow it.
Check for updates on the current local battle at savethelagunamadre.com

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