Vindicator anti-fracking editorial based on questionable, biased study

Vindicator anti-fracking editorial based on questionable, biased study

Once again, The Vindicator coughs up enough oil and gas industry pocket lint to clog a fracked well.

Firstly, the “study” cited by the Sept. 24 Vindicator editorial “Youngstown voters can learn from Niles drilling-ban repeal” was not conducted by the National Academy of Sciences; it was, in fact, sponsored by nine oil and natural gas corporations plus one questionable “Big Green” organization, and carried out by University of Texas researchers.

Yes, that’s the same institution that was forced to withdraw an earlier fracking study due to conflict of interest. (See “In Wake of Scathing Review of Fracking Report, University of Texas Revises Conflict of Interest Policies”

“UT-Austin has released the Steering Committee roster for the study. It consists of lead author David Allen, two EDF employees, and nine oil industry representatives, including lobbyists and PR staff from ExxonMobil, Shell, Southwestern Energy and more.”

“One of the report’s co-authors currently works as a consultant for the oil and gas industry, while another formerly worked as a petroleum engineer before entering academia.” (See

It appears UT is back to its old ways again. Not only that, but the study’s findings do not differ that much from the findings of critics, and even concludes that toxic emissions from fracking are equal to or higher in some instances than the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s conclusions:

“The study also found that leaks in other parts of the process — pneumatic pumps, controllers and other equipment — were either equal to or higher than the EPA previously estimated. Ultimately, this meant that total emissions came pretty close to the EPA’s estimates.”

“The report concludes .42 percent of fracked gas — based on samples taken from 190 production sites — is emitted into the air at the well pad. This is a full 2 percent to 4 percent lower than well-pad emissions estimated by Cornell University professors Robert Howarth and Anthony Ingraffea in their ground-breaking April 2011 study now simply known as the ‘Cornell Study.’” (See

Let’s hope The Vindicator’s editorial board will get some lessons on investigative journalism from some of its fine reporters before it pens another deceptive editorial.

George Elias, Youngstown

EDITOR’S NOTE: The study to which The Vindicator referred was published and peer reviewed by the National Academy of Sciences. The academy itself did not conduct the study.

Mental-health illness in US merits more attention than Syria

I wish President Obama had as much enthusiasm about the lack of help available to people suffering from mental-health issues as he has for Syria’s problems. If you read the paper or watch TV, you would think help is readily available. But, sadly, it is not. You can call, but no one will see you to discuss a plan for help. Whether you’re a patient or a family member, the help is “just not there.” No real help is available.

Many of the recent tragic incidents here in the U.S. could have been averted if help had been available. President Obama needs to help us [Americans] before going into Syria.

Since Woodside Receiving Hospital in Youngstown closed many years ago, there has been nothing to replace it with any kind of legitimate help. This just isn’t fair. The patients have to overcome the stigma of having mental illness and the government’s lack of available help.

We need to solve our problems before we try to solve the world’s problems. Some of the people suffering from mental illness have been suffering for years, and they deserve some help before Syria.

Barbara Hreen, Youngstown

Mahoning County loses 2 heroes

Within the last week Mahoning County lost two unsung heroes whose names most people won’t know. They both gave years of professional service to them no less. Deputies Ray Nemeth and Mitch Nisevich passed away. Both were long time reserve deputies with Mahoning County Sheriff’s Department. Although both had full-time careers, Mitch as a driver for WRTA, and Ray who was a Struthers firefighter, both gave years of volunteer service to the sheriff’s department and the residents of Mahoning County.

They represent many men and women who gave and continue to give of their time to assist police departments all over the country as reserve officers and auxiliaries. Whether it is serving court papers, working the jail or patrol division, or transporting prisoners, they assist when called upon, usually about 16 hours per month. In fact “Sonny” Litch, who lost his life transporting a prisoner to the hospital on October 22, 1981, was a reserve deputy and best friends with Deputy Nemeth.

It was an honor to have worked with both of them over the years.

Sgt. William Frease (retired), FOP Lodge 141, Youngstown

Why should Congress defund Obamacare? Let us count reasons

Our Congress is being held hostage. Hostage, you say, how? Why? By whom?

Our president continues to threaten the imminent shutdown of our government if the Republican Congress — it is also composed of Democrats and Independents, Mr. President — continues to remain responsive to “We the people.”

I have been following information about the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which the media coined Obamacare since it was railroaded through Congress in 2009.

There are two very important facts to remember about this law. First, the bill was never read nor discussed in its finished entirety by Congress before Congress voted on it. This is not a lie. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi‘s infamous quote, “We will have to pass the bill so we can find out what is in it” attests to this.

Secondly, the Supreme Court also admittedly did not read it fully before ruling on it. To mandate that all citizens must buy a product is not a power given to the federal government by the U.S. Constitution and therefore by the U.S. Constitution’s 10th Amendment — it is reserved to the states respectively or to ‘‘the people”.

The majority of we the people are finding out what is in the law and are telling our representatives to defund/repeal Obamacare. More than 60 lawsuits are pending against the law.

The Senate and House are exempting themselves from this law. The above are all excellent reasons why the continuing resolution to fund the operation of the federal government should prohibit spending any federal money, mandatory or discretionary, on Obamacare.

Congress is not triggering “economic chaos” as has been declared by an obdurate president but is responding to the will of we the people and by so doing continues to uphold our certain “unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”.

Cynthia Coppersmith, Columbiana

Thank-you note to Putin?

If the recent drop in gas prices is due to calmer feelings about Syria, do we have Vladimir Putin to thank?

Dale W. Clarke, Newton Falls