Last week, there was a compelling moment in the meeting of the Nebraska Oil and Gas Commission when a Nebraska farmer stepped forward to discuss the plan to allow 80 truckloads carrying 10,000 barrels per day containing fracking wastewater into Nebraska. Then the farmer offered the Commissioners a simple challenge: you drink it.
The disposal water is destined to be dumped into a disposal well in Sioux County, a move that farmers and ranchers fear will contaminate state waters — a problem associated with such waste in other states.
What is interesting is that water is far more important to states than oil and gas operations as the world faces a serious drinking water shortage. Already a billion people have no access to fresh water. Once deals to dump waste are secured, farmers and ranchers fear that the the windfall for a few will result in generations of damage to the public at large. This farmer tried to convey that concern in the three minutes allotted to him.