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Letter: If you didn't know, now you do

To the Editor:

Did you know that the center for shale “fracking" of oil is in western North Dakota at Williston?

Did you know that in an effort to distribute that oil, the oil companies built a large distribution pipe extending south of Williston?

Did you know that several weeks ago approximately 100 miles south of Willis ton a farmer discovered a large pool of oil in a remote area of his farm, estimated by the pipeline company to be over 20,000 gallons and estimated to have continued for over 8 days without discovery?

Did you know that, although this was the largest land based spill, that many of these spills occur regularly?

Did you know that the oil industry successfully discourages this information from getting to the public?

Did you know that this is the precise reason that environmentalists are pressuring Obama from approving the proposed pipeline from Canada to New Orleans through vulnerable states like Nebraska, whose soil and water table is poorly constituted to accommodate any spills.

Did you know that the Canadian oil is a very toxic, heavy type that is very difficult to push through a pipeline and must be heated to do so and when spilled is extremely difficult to clean up?

Did you know that the Canadian oil is particularly harmful to the atmosphere compared to lighter less toxic oil generally pumped in the states?

Did you know that when the oil reaches New Orleans, if the pipeline is built, the oil is refined and put on a tanker to China and India, little of it remaining in the states?

Do you wonder what benefit other than a few jobs and some fees will accrue to the states and whether these are a fair trade for the potential catastrophic damage to our environment?

I do.

Richard W. Johnson