Injection well opposition grows

Injection well opposition grows

A small but mighty group of people gathered at Emporia State University on Tuesday to express their opposition to the injection well application filed with the Kansas Corporation Commission.

Quail Oil and Gas filed an application for an injection well in Morris County. The proposed wastewater injection well would be located in the southwest portion of Morris County near Burdick — 14 miles as the crow flies from the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve.

The proposed well has drawn a particular amount of attention and opposition because of its location. ESU geology expert and distinguished professor James Aber said the well “directly overlies a buried basement uplift known as Nemaha Ridge, which is flanked on its eastern side by the Humboldt Fault zone with multiple, parallel faults trending generally north-northeast.” He added that the Humboldt Zone has historically been seismically active.

Some of those in opposition to the injection well gathered in the Union Square on the campus of ESU Tuesday to educate others about the risks of injection wells and encourage others to express their concerns as well. Attendees carried signs proclaiming, “Once you frack you can’t go back,” “Don’t FRACKture our community,” and “No drills in the hills”.

“I’m opposed because there is always a chance the toxins could get into people’s drinking water,” ESU student Jessica Parks said. “I think that is a very bad thing because I don’t want that to effect the animals or the people in the Flint Hills.”

“I’m opposed to the injection wells because if there is even a minimal chance it could affect our community with earthquakes, that is enough reason to be opposed,” ESU student Emily Velazquez said. “Injection wells create more risk of harm than the benefits of having them.”

The demonstration was organized by the ESU Greens and the Flint Hills Stewards. The Flint Hills Stewards is a community group which formed to promote responsible stewardship of resources in the Flint Hills and surrounding areas. The group was born when Quail Oil and Gas filed an application for an injection well in Morris County. Five concerned women — Cindy Hoedel, Elexa Dawson of Chase County, Karla Jo Grimmett of Morris County, Kathy Kelly of Kansas City and Chase County, and Regina Compernolle of Kansas City — filed protests with the Kansas Corporations Commission to express their objection to the proposed injection well.

Hoedel first voiced her opposition to the injection well by sending a postcard to the Kansas Corporation Commission. She was advised it was the first request for a hearing the KCC had ever received on a postcard. On Tuesday, she was handing out postcards for others to write to the KCC to share their views. More than 80 postcards were written and sent to the KCC following the event.

“The public comments period is open from now to the hearing date on June 15,” Hoedel said. “All people have to do is send a card expressing their opposition to the injection well with their name and address for it to be counted.”

Letters or postcards can be sent to the Kansas Corporation Commission, Conservation Division, 130 S. Market St. #2078, Wichita, KS 67202.

Grimmet encouraged others to educate themselves on the risk associated with injection wells. She said there are various risks to consider — increased earthquake activity and potential contamination of fresh water supplies.

Since filing protests with the KCC and requesting a hearing regarding the application, the Flint Hills Stewards came to the realization they would need legal counsel. Dawson explained the hearing process is complicated. She said community members can help in several ways.

“Immediately they can contact the Kansas Corporations Commission and express their concerns,” Dawson said. “Additionally, they could donate to our legal fees. We did find after our pre-hearing phone call that we were going to need legal counsel — that the bureaucratic process was going to be overwhelming. We bit off more than we could chew — we didn’t know what we were getting into.”

Estimated legal fees are $10,000 and the group has formed the Flint Hills Stewards Legal Fund at So far the group has raised $6,200.

The public hearing regarding the injection well application is June 15 in Wichita.

Dr. King’s More than a Dream

So we are here because we believe, we hope, we pray that something new might emerge in the political life of this nation which will produce a new man, new structures and new institutions and a new life for mankind. I am convinced that this new life will not emerge until our nation undergoes a radical revolution of values. When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights are considered more important than people the giant triplets of racism, economic exploitation and militarism are incapable of being conquered. A civilization can flounder as readily in the face of moral bankruptcy as it can through financial bankruptcy. A true revolution of values will soon cause us to question the fairness and justice of many of our past and present policies.”
— Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., “Beyond Vietnam: Riverside Church speech” {1967}

Dr. King is too often remembered for the comfy “I have a Dream” speech, is too infrequently given the credit he deserves for the ‘radical’ views he took in his last years and is broadly speaking, too seldomly remembered at all. Sadly, his warnings have also not been remembered.

We live in a society that relies upon planned obsolescence and materialistic fetishes. Our culture idolizes patriotic killings and dramatized versions of eliminating “terrorists”. Our public discourse paints black-white swaths across areas of gray nuance.

There may not be anything that I personally hate more than racism. I find it to be both the most ignorant and the lowest of our denominators. It is stupid, simple-minded, moronic, idiotic, imbecilic, intellect-defective and the most densely destructive of our human deficiencies. I’ll only say it once, but fuck ALL racists. If we woke up tomorrow and all the racists were gone, our world would be exponentially better. Drumpflodytes & Alt-Nazis talk about getting rid of Muslims & Mexicans –- I say we get rid of the racists. Its not to say that everything would be perfect with them gone, but I don’t think we can even actually fathom the degree to which things would improve.

It would solve our drumpf {Trump} problem.

From the day that whites unloaded the first Africans on this continent, America has been built by the blood of the victims of Dr. King’s “giant triplets” more than the blood of the ‘founders’. From the 35-50 million Native Americans that were killed to fulfill Manifest Destiny, to the 15-20 million Africans killed and enslaved for American prosperity & growth (roughly 50 million for the entire Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade). Today we use African-Americans as the main currency of our for-profit prison industry, Hispanics have become the ‘bottom-of-the-boot’ wage slaves and with the exception of the recent Standing Rock protests, how often do you even see Native American’s in our society? This is not to exclude poor whites from the corporate-sponsored system of indentured servitude, but to say that the application of oppression is equitable across the board is rigoddamndiculous.

America has more problems than racism though and I’d put materialism/consumerism next on the list. The pastor of mega-church New Birth Missionary Baptist’s Eddie Long is (or was as of 1/15/17) almost the perfect embodiment of this. His prosperity preaching leached hundreds of millions of dollars from African-Americans so desperate for answers that a charlatan who sexually abused parishioners for years could win widespread acceptance and be held in high-esteem. He knowingly told poor people to send him money so he could buy a Bentley, a multi-million dollar mansion and pay off the lawsuits to his many sexual abuse victims. His facade was so solid and his reputation so righteous that he spoke at the funeral of Dr. King’s wife, Coretta Scott King.

We are so obsessed with the cultural approval of our conspicuous consumption that we beat each other up over Wal-Mart Christmas sales, pay people to stand in line for phones that we’ll replace in a year or two and we have more TV channels dedicated to selling worthless crap 24/7 than channels dedicated to science even 12/4. We are literally destroying our future just so that we can have endless picks of pieces of plastic today. There is a new term for our current age. It’s “anthropocene” and it means “relating to or denoting the current geological age, viewed as the period during which human activity has been the dominant influence on climate and the environment.” This is not a good thing: it means that our way of life is causing the next great extinction on this planet.

Of course, the idea of humans being the cause of the end of life on earth is not new to us. Our blind adherence to militaristic notions of honor, duty, and obligation to country is so blind that even in the age of expanded drone wars we act as though its normal to rain death from the clear blue skies if our needs see it fit. We play proxy-war games and flex our expansive muscles never thinking that some day it might just get a bit out of control. We’ve traded diplomacy for militancy; medicines for munitions; allies for enemies and security for instability.

Our society has deified the soldier so much that criticism is treated as sacrilege. To question whether our military excursions are prudent and tied to our direct defense elicits calls to move elsewhere. The propaganda is so thick about our dedication to ‘vets’, but what happens if you suggest that the best way to protect them is to simply not create them? Instead, we thrive on the pomp & circumstance of NFL pledges of allegiance and the idiotic twits of a yuuge ignoramus. We kill and die to preserve an outdated model and dedicate our greatest resources to the preservation of a doomed archetype.

Our only hope forward is through the creation of a new green paradigm. We must work together to elect representatives that will end our reckless wars overseas and take care of the harmed veterans our failed policies have already created. We have to examine our own daily lives to find ways to minimize the harm our consumption does to the world and to also support efforts for a sustainable society. It is up to each of us to look within ourselves and to remove the racist distortions and stereotypes that have been repeatedly reinforced by the omnivorous “entertainment industry”.

We are not consumers; we are humans. We are not cogs in a machine; we are feeling sentient beings. For far too long we have been pawns: when are you going to get tired of just going along?

There is nothing that must be done that can be done not all as One.

Angels on the sideline: Puzzled and amused
Why did Father give these humans free will?
Now they’re all confused…

Angels on the sideline; Baffled and confused
Father blessed them all with reason
And this is what they choose?

— Tool, “Right in Two”

Calling all Green Candidates

I joined up with the Green Party during the 2016 election after an incredibly inspiring speech from Dr. Jill Stein at the Lawrence Public Library. While working with the Stein campaign, I saw a passion for creating positive change throughout the party. Their goals align with my goals, and the needs of the people.

My interest in politics dates to my teenage years. Back then, I was just a kid listening to Rage Against the Machine and System of a Down too much. The message was clear though. The working class is in peril, our planet is being destroyed, and education is seen as expendable. These same issues remain, especially in Kansas, where we’re funding prison expansions while we contemplate closing schools.

The Brownback tax experiment has proven to be a failure and we need a new direction. This change needs to come from beyond the realm of corporate sponsored bi-partisan legislation. The main issue in my eyes, that needs to be addressed in Kansas, is the school budget crisis. Continued slashes to Kansas schools came to a boiling point over the past year and it was only a few good judges that saved Kansas from closing 300+ schools. Education can not be a continuous problem in Kansas, as we know our children are the future. In the coming years, we’ll need to provide economic stability for our public schools.

The Kansas Green Party has been working on ideas to generate revenue to assure this happens. Just one of these ideas would involve outfitting schools (and other public buildings) with renewable energy such as solar panels or wind turbines (where applicable). The legalization of cannabis in Colorado has been generating over $10 million a month in tax revenue there and should be taken into serious consideration for Kansas. Change is important, and so is avoiding an added burden on our working class. As someone who has worked jobs ranging from minimum wage retail jobs to my current production job, I understand this well.

In the coming 2017, Greens will continue to build a platform that benefits all Kansans, not just an elite few. We will need your help though. We will need more leaders running for office. We’ll need feet on the ground helping our petition drive to become an officially recognized political party in Kansas. Most of all, we’ll need your input. Our meetings are open to everyone, and we’re always accepting new ideas and members. As I prepare to run for a Kansas House seat, I also look forward to meeting and working with the many forward thinking individuals who are passionately trying to make Kansas a better place.

In summary, I’m going to run for office because I want to do my part to make the world a better place. For me, this starts right here at home. With a little help, we can work together to make the heart of America a leader in intelligent progressive thought – and action.

Author; Allen Roach

{only published by spencer}

My Election Confession: I Voted for Jill Stein.

It would be an understatement to say that the 2016 presidential election result was disappointing, but I want to clarify the stance that I had going into the election and the electoral strategy for which I advocated. I do not by any means regret voting for Jill Stein instead of Hillary Clinton. Kansas is a red state and we all knew going in that Donald Trump would win its six electoral votes. If you think that Hillary Clinton had a chance here, then I have a homework assignment for you. Hint: it involves math. Look at the results for Kansas. You will find that Donald Trump won by a margin greater than the votes for Jill Stein and Gary Johnson combined.

It was my suggestion that progressives in deep red states should vote with their conscience because a vote for Hillary Clinton would be a waste in those states. My vote for Jill meant much more than only a symbolic nod to the candidate who best represented my political beliefs. The ultimate goal was for her to earn 5 percent of the vote which would have secured federal funding for the Green Party in the 2020 presidential election. That would have made Greens better equipped to hold Democrats accountable by forcing them to take strong progressive stances on an array of issues or risk losing many more votes to the Green Party in future elections. If more progressives in red states like Kansas had only recognized this simple truth, that 5 percent would have been easily achieved.

What was much more apparent to many voters was that Hillary Clinton is the epitome of the political establishment. It was well known that she had given paid speeches for Wall Street bankers and that she had called the Trans Pacific Partnership the “Gold Standard” before flip flopping on the issue in order to compete with Bernie Sanders in the Democratic Primary. The emotional reaction that thousands of voters had in the key states of Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin led to a misguided vote for Donald Trump as a means to prevent a Clinton presidency, and it worked. There are certainly things to which we should assign blame for this result, but do not blame third party voters. Blame the electoral college. Hillary Clinton won the popular vote, but still lost the presidency under this outdated system.

Blame establishment politicians in the Democratic Party who promoted Donald Trump because they wanted an “easy win” for their empress, Hillary Clinton. The emails released by WikiLeaks show that certain Republican Primary candidates were referred to as “Pied Piper candidates”. The DNC also conspired to rig the primaries in Hillary Clinton’s favor. They disenfranchised “no party preference voters” in the California primary by giving them provisional ballots, many of which were not counted. They scheduled the Democratic debates in a way that would minimize voters’ exposure to Bernie Sanders’ message. None of this was done to benefit the American people. If the DNC cared about the average American then they would have been impartial and would have allowed the Democratic process to be carried out without distortion.

The result of their misdeeds has been horrifying. Say it with me now: President Elect Donald Trump. The election of this monster sends a very clear message from the American people. This was a rejection of establishment politics and a call for populism. For many of the people that voted for him, it did not matter that he was a bigot, misogynist, loser, whatever you want to call him. All that mattered to them was that he was “anti-establishment”. If Bernie Sanders had been the Democratic nominee, the American people would have had a better non-establishment choice, and one with a positive favorability rating.

Last but not least, blame the corporate media who seemed to think that Hillary Clinton was a shoe-in. They could not have been more wrong. Networks like MSNBC and CNN do not practice real journalism. Their only purpose is to prop up the establishment. They have no incentive to do real investigative journalism that can shake up the status quo because they benefit from the status quo. We need to stop watching that crap. Find another news source that is independent and not reliant on corporate funding. I would recommend Democracy Now!, PBS, Vice News, NPR, or any of the other news sources listed on the Kansas Green Party website.