Greg Kozera and his tactics of misrepresentation reveal what is most challenging in the hydrofracking debate in West Virginia.
In the piece to which he responded, I exposed truths about the hydrofracking industry. I carefully cited my documentation listing among other sources Abraham Lustgarten, who was a staff writer at Fortune before writing for ProPublica.org.
Although concerned West Virginians are searching for the truth outside the state and finding the same evidence that has convinced other legislatures to put moratoriums on hydrofracking, legislators and media sources in West Virginia appear to mistakenly identify Mr. Kozera as an unbiased source of information. Mr. Kozera conveniently did not tell the reader that he was the regional sales manager for Superior Wells Services, a company that sells supplies to hydrofrackers. He also failed to tell the reader that he is the president of the Virginia Oil and Gas Association. In essence Mr. Kozera's degrees in agricultural and environmental engineering are being put to use to promote the oil and gas industry from which he makes his money.
Debaters know that opponents go personal only when they cannot defend their position. Mr. Kozera did not refute the use of dangerous chemicals in hydrofracking; he did not refute the comments in the March cover story of National Geographic concerning the perils of hydrofracking; he did not refute that a hydrofracking tanker crushed two young children to death in their own West Virginia community. He did not refute the issues that I addressed in my op-ed piece. Unlike Mr. Kozera, I cited my sources for readers to explore for themselves. I did not insult their intelligence by stringing together a list of glittering generalities to try to discredit others and the facts.
As the president of the Virginia Oil and Gas Association, Mr. Kozera should certainly be aware of the April 24 Forbes article: "Fracking Truck Sets Off Radiation Alarm at Landfill."
"A truck carrying drill cuttings from a hydraulic fracturing pad in the Marcellus Shale was rejected by a Pennsylvania landfill Friday after it set off a radiation alarm," the magazine reported. "The truck was emitting gamma radiation from radium 226 at almost ten times the level permitted at the landfill....
The radiation level in the truck was about 84 times higher than the EPA standard. The magazine also reported that radium is a well-known contaminant in fracking operations, particularly in the Marcellus Shale, that Pennsylvania claims to be the only state that requires landfills to monitor for radiation levels in incoming waste.