Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Cows Killed by Bad "Stuff"

According to an article in today's Shreveport Times, the mystery of the seventeen dead cows in southern Caddo Parish has more or less been solved. As suspected, the cows drank from pooled chemicals that had been spilled from a drilling rig that was undergoing completion. While there was not a rigorous "CSI:" style investigation, Caddo Parish Sheriff Steve Prator gathered relevant oversight parties together and came to the conclusion, "the stuff killed the cows."

I don't mean to make light of the situation. While it was cows this time, who knows what else can happen if drillers are careless. Don't make it easy by giving people a symbol to express their frustration. Not to be overly dramatic, but look at Neda in Iran.

The companies set to profit from the Haynesville Shale need to get in front of oversight issues and prove that they can be truly vigilant in policing themselves. There are regulations on drilling activities being considered at the local, state and federal levels. It's all rather unprecedented to see this kind of activity. Instead of entrenching themselves against regulation, drilling companies need to prove they are responsible and that safety really is a high priority. Unfortunately, it may be too late at this point.

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