Sunday, March 29, 2009

Richton report’s political ties negate its credibility

Sun Herald Letter to the editor, March 29th, 2009

Richton report’s political ties negate its credibility

Following is the text of my letter to Energy Secretary Steven Chu about the Richton Strategic Petroleum Reserve project report:

First off, thank you for your waste of taxpayers’ dollars when it should have cost you 42 cents to mail each report. Instead, you mailed the Richton Report in a costly manila envelope that cost 83 cents in postage.

In reference to your so-called scientific studies performed on the Pascagoula River and in the Gulf of Mexico to assist the ongoing preparation of the supplemental environmental impact statement for the proposed DOE Richton Strategic Petroleum Reserve, it appears you would rather accept reports from paid individuals with ties to the political machine instead of from those who have no ax to grind. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers was used as an “authority” in your report. If it weren’t so important, I would think it was a joke and laugh. Personally, I see very little credibility in the Corps.

Scientists, biologists, geologists and other learned, educated citizens voiced their opinions against this project during the public hearings in Pascagoula in April 2008. Do you expect us to believe your so-called experts who have political ties instead of these individuals?

The present proposal by the Department of Energy will consist of 200 miles of pipeline that will cross 63 creeks, streams and rivers. Pipeline spills due to the corrosive brine will have dire effects on the freshwater supply for South Mississippi’s people, land and vegetation. Droughts in Georgia and Alabama are causing shortages of fresh water. Can our politicians assure us that taking 50 million gallons of water per day for five years from the Pascagoula River will not affect our freshwater supply?

There are other alternatives for salt brine disposal. Why not send the pipelines to the Mississippi River?

The people of South Mississippi do not need another disaster. Katrina was enough.

Ocean Springs

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Our environment is still at risk from salt dome project

Sadly it looks like the idiots in Washington could care less about the environment on the MS Gulf Coast and are determined to go ahead with the salt dome project.

Ramseur and Jeff Grimes, assistant director of the Gulf Restoration Network out of New Orleans, both said the Richton Report fails to address one of the major concerns of the project; pipeline breaks or leaks along the 80 miles — which the Energy Department itself predicts will happen — spilling brine onto sensitive river wetlands.

Grimes also was concerned the agency does not report the impact to sea life on the ocean floor, where there would be elevated salinity levels, or whether the “elevated salinity plume” might cause a dead zone.

Valid concerns, additional concerns include the loss of water from the Pascagoula River. Water Jackson County may need as our water table is rising.