All aren’t ready to blindly salute the shale exploration flagpole. Thanks to Roby Brock for noticing an effort underway in Van Buren County, the very heart of the Fayetteville shale, to form a county committee to “monitor” shale gas drilling. The intention seems to be to study such issues as air and water pollution, road damage and property rights.

Sounds like it’s a good time for the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce to fire off another copy of its shale cheerleading letter (on behalf of its shale drilling members) to the local newspaper reporting on this. The chamber can explain that it’s just more shock tactics like that meddling documentary maker. The people in Van Buren are just too stupid to see the manna through the fumes, crumbling roads and foul liquid effluent. No reason the Little Rock chamber can’t pitch in on educating these yokels, too, since it’s already busy driving people to live in Van Buren County and other exurbs with its publicity campaign about failed Little Rock schools.

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You know what they say, Van Buren County. Relax. Enjoy it.