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Know the West

Take a lesson on methane

  Dear HCN,

Keep up the battle against the methane drillers (HCN, 5/27/02: Dear Friends). We in Las Animas County, Colo., have seen the impact of this industry on our environment and it is not pleasant. Our mountain water wells have gone dry, our local county and state roads are falling apart due to the heavy truck traffic, dust permeates our once-clean air, our underground water sources are rapidly disappearing, the need for added compressor stations goes on and on and noise abatement is a joke, and the wild animals truly are severely impacted.

The argument put forth by the methane companies is that the drought is depleting the water. They say they will recycle the water they pump from the ground for dust abatement. The water is worthless and mineral-laden. Once these companies gain a foothold, they will never let go. The newest wrinkle is the need for gravel pits to supply gravel for the well sites. This means added traffic and pollution and the destruction of more once-beautiful land.

Your county commissioners will be wooed by the dollars brought in by the methane companies but, in the long run, they will be facing increased expenditures in road maintenance, land devaluation and the loss of their own quality of life.

Take a lesson from those of us who are being overwhelmed by these land-grabbers: You ain't seen nothing yet!

E. Sroat
Trinidad, Colorado