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Letter to the Editor: It's Time For a Public Debate on Fracking

We need honest, legitimate debate between PXP and Culver City residents; not hysteria ginned up to scare the public by anti-oil fanatics.

The oil companies don't like me because I want to tax them to get money for our schools, and the anti-oil fanatics don't like me because I raise questions about their agenda and misleading pseudo-environmentalists talking about the 8000 feet underground.

I would like to see a public debate between PXP and the people of Culver City where the anti-fracking people present their evidence and PXP is given a chance to present its evidence. I think it is a joke to hold so-called workshops where only one side is presented. 

I publicly approved of the settlement made by the City Council and PXP even though I thought the millions of dollars spent on the lawsuit was unnecessary. We need a public debate before the City tries to ban fracking and spends millions more on lawsuits that taxpayers can't afford.

We need honest legitimate debate, not hysteria ginned up to scare the public by anti-oil fanatics.

Sincerely,

Robert Zirgulis

Editor's note: Letters may be edited for brevity and clarity.

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Crystal Czarnecki Alexander June 11, 2012 at 11:05 PM
The many concerned residents of Culver City who are tirelessly seeking a ban on fracking are also the same residents who are working to see if the rules of this upcoming workshop on June 12 can be designed so that ALL sides can be equally heard. We believe in the power of information and democracy, and trust that if these pillars come together with full force, our residents will come to see that regulations will not work and that a ban (until the oil/gas industry can truly and scientifically demonstrate the safety of their processes, just like other industries like the big pharma do) is the only answer.
Scott Kecken June 11, 2012 at 11:52 PM
How can we expect a debate on fracking when all the information will not be released? First question, what chemicals are used in the fracking process? Answer, that is a trade secret.
Tom Williams June 12, 2012 at 12:16 AM
Simply - DOGGR is asking for concerns, issues, and recommendations for their regulations, but the DoC rep stated in Ventura that everything is regulated but not reported (DoC/DOGGR have the basic: Say No Evil, See No Evil, and Speak No Evil of the Oil/Gas companies )....Oil companies don't have to: inform surface land owners, cities, counties, other state agencies of when they want to drill or rework a well respond to complaints from neighbors tell you what they are doing or what chemicals they are using stop using vehicles/equipment across the surface lands DOGGR does not Provide emails/web pages for new applications and permits Have any CEQA public participation elements Easy ways of the public finding information without a Public Records Act request... What are the companies and DOGGR afraid of??? They don't have to tell you where the faults are, where they are injecting and fracking, what the seismic, water quality, and air quality monitoring results are NOTHING...compared to many other land uses - liquor stores, pot shops, etc..... Let the people know - for INFORMED CONSENT and Right to know the Truth, whole truth, and nothing but the Truth DOGGR and Oil Companies don't tell when they are doing things, results, of things, and whether they are related to things on the surface...Baldwin Hills Dam collapse, Ross Store Blowout, Wilshire Courtyard Blowout, and Downtown Oil Field Blowout at Pico/Figueroa... What are they both afraid of??
Jeannine Wisnosky Stehlin June 12, 2012 at 12:40 AM
Fracking is serious and I don't consider it a ginned up fear. I believe that as a community, we have the right (moral and legal) to ask tough questions and get straight answers about what fracking entails, and the potential dangers. We have the right to know, just like we have the right to know what the side effects and dangers of taking medications are.
Christine Ferreira June 12, 2012 at 01:59 AM
I would love to have some really good scientific information about fracking in this whole debate. I understand the concerns about it, but I am not convinced that they are valid. I've poked around the Internet looking for what seems to be valid scientific information and I haven't found any. I certainly don't expect PXP to be honest about fracking.
Rebecca Rona-Tuttle June 12, 2012 at 04:04 PM
A couple of points about Mr. Zirgulis's request for a debate between PXP representatives and Culver City citizens: --When it comes to the science and dangers of fracking, a real debate would require truly independent geologists, neurologists, other scientists, attorneys and economists debating PXP representatives. Exceptions would be Culver City residents who happen to be scientists themselves, such as the neurologist from Culver City who is vehemently opposed to fracking. --In settings other than a debate, such as townhalls, we Culver City residents have every reason to speak up and be heard about matters of justice and democratic principles. --In settings other than a debate, we Culver City residents and experts have every reason to voice our concerns, given the evidence we're researched. --We Culver City residents and others throughout the county and state deserve sessions, such as townhall meetings, where representatives from oil companies and representatives from the State of California respond to our questions and statements. --Debates are useful; townhalls are essential. Rebecca Rona-Tuttle, concerned Culver City resident
Susan Levy June 15, 2012 at 04:29 AM
Mr. Zirgulis may have a financial stake in fracking and oil drilling in Culver City; I found the following link to a document on the PXP website that shows he leased land to the company in 2004: http://www.pxp.com/_pdf/NW%20Machado%20Decl%20of%20Pooling%20(complete%20w%20exhibits).pdf

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