WASHINGTON, May 18, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Former White House and Congressional senior aide Robert Weiner today rebutted an attack in Forbes Magazine on the article by Hannah Coombs and him, "Fracking's Benefits Will Eventually End", which Weiner also titled "Fracking's Joy Ride Will End," in the Lynchburg, VA News and Advance.
Weiner asked today, "Would (Forbes author) James Taylor want fracking next to his home's water supply?" Weiner and Coombs co-authored the original article for the Advance on April 11, and Taylor and Justin Haskins, editor for the Heartland Institute, wrote the reply in Forbes on May 14.
The attack in Forbes on Weiner and Coomb's article is at http://www.forbes.com/sites/jamestaylor/2015/05/14/no-affordable-oil-will-not-cause-a-new-great-depression/, and the original Weiner-Coombs article is at http://www.newsadvance.com/opinion/community_viewpoint/weiner-coombs-fracking-s-benefits-will-eventually-end/article_62c4f220-dfb9-11e4-a5b2-5fd2dee6b5ae.html.
Taylor and Haskins label Weiner "Democratic strategist." Weiner said, "I like that title, and it is not a bad thing, but the paper properly identified me from substantive positions in both the White House and Capitol Hill, where I've had the honor of serving as a spokesman, committee chief of staff, and legislative assistant. Discussions of major issues like energy policy do not need to be partisan, and they should be substantive. If anything, Forbes should have pointed out, as did the Guardian in 2012, that 'billionaire Charles Koch is a key financier of the Heartland Institute', which Taylor worked for and co-author Haskins now edits, and Heartland still gets major funding from the Koch Brothers with their oil and gas lobbying support."
Weiner said that Taylor and Haskins "colorfully title their attack, 'Affordable Oil Will Not Cause a New Great Depression,' but ignore the major points we raised." Weiner asked today, "Would Taylor be okay with fracking going on next to the water source for his house, with the proven groundwater contamination and hundreds of earthquakes that are documented from the fracking process of pressure-forcing chemicals into the earth? This is not theoretical. The biggest concern about fracking is the potential dangers -- people don't want their drinking water contaminated. It's a health issue."
Weiner adds, "Conflicts of interest abound, as reported in Scientific American: In 2005 Congress – at the behest of then-Vice President Dick Cheney, a former CEO of gas driller Halliburton – exempted fracking from regulation under the Safe Drinking Water Act."
Weiner adds further, "If fracking is so safe, why did the Republican-led legislature in North Carolina pass a law with a provision that would 'make it a Class 1 felony for someone to intentionally disclose chemicals in fracking fluids that are classified as trade secrets?'"
"Fracking is just people trying to make buckets more money and not caring who they sicken along the way."
Weiner continued, "Fracking is not environmentally friendly, nor is it regulated enough to protect residents of areas where fracking is occurring. Contaminated water supplies are a much more critical situation than cheap oil prices or a surplus in temporary employment in unpopulated rural areas."
In addition, Weiner contends, "Taylor tries to refute the whole concept of renewable energy sources on his belief oil is going to last for centuries through fracking, which is a lazy and inaccurate excuse not to move towards these resources. Apparently the conservative viewpoint on environmental issues, or issues that involve oil, is the belief that since we have oil now, there is no reason to prepare for the future. Why worry -- just delay the inevitable given not just the scientific reports that fracking wells will dry out from months to five years themselves, but the Institution of Mechanical Engineers' estimate that 'at present rates of consumption' we only have enough oil left overall 'to last 40 years.'"
"British Petroleum gave a more positive estimate of around 53 years, but unless James Taylor uses a different type of calendar, we do not have a century to argue over partisan lines over the future of our nation and the world's economic and energy security."
"James Taylor can't claim to be on the side of science if he doesn't at least abide by the facts."
Robert Weiner was White House spokesman, spokesman for the Government House Operations Committee, Staff Director for the House Aging Committee and Subcommittee on Health and Long Term Care, and senior staff for Reps. John Conyers, Charles Rangel, Ed Koch, Claude Pepper and Sen. Ted Kennedy. Coombs is senior policy analyst for Robert Weiner Associates and Solutions for Change. Florian Prommer assisted in this article. They and Joseph Abay wrote the original commentary for The News & Advance. Bridget Mora and Joseph Abay contributed to today's rebuttal by Weiner to the Forbes attack.
Contact: Bob Weiner/Autumn Kelly 301-283-0821, cell 202-329-1700 [email protected]
SOURCE Robert Weiner Associates