Today I read a story about hydraulic fracturing in West Texas, and its effects on the local communities.
Fracking, as it is commonly known, involves using a tremendous amount of water to break shale rock below the ground, and obtain petroleum on the surface.
In the context of this article, 5.4 million gallons of water have been pumped daily into the ground at this oil field.
This is 5.4 million gallons of water less that goes to local farmers, local ranchers, and the residents of the small towns dotting West Texas.
My family moved from the suburbs of Pharr to rural Santa Rosa when I was five, and my parents raised me to be a conservationist.
From a young age we were taught about the importance of the land we inhabit, and to respect people in the agricultural community for whom they provide the bed rock with which the rest of American society can live, survive, and thrive.
As a Buddhist, this is a mantra I live by, respect the environment, and respect those who work hard on it. These people need their water.
But I do not believe ending fracking tomorrow is the best answer.
I am a resident of the Valley. I use my air conditioner religiously. I drive a long amount of distance daily.
It would make me an incredible hypocrite to say that we should disrupt U.S. Energy supply, and potentially raise costs.
The best way to strike a balance here is to promote green energy that doesn’t use so much fresh water, and continue to fund science that helps reduce our carbon footprints.
If we innovate, we can keep Texas water and Texas land clean for our farmers, ranchers, and citizens.
I implore readers to take some form of action by calling our US senators, and asking them to make sure that funding for the EPAs Climate, Air and Energy Research, as well as the EPAs Office of Research and Development, does not lose funding by the significant amount that President Trump is proposing.
Please call Senator Cornyn (202-224-2934) and Senator Cruz (202-224-5922) to tell them to protect these investments in innovation.
It’s only with innovation that we can substantively protect the environment and keep our energy and economic needs met.
Jordan Navarro Santa Rosa