Local: Heene gets the book thrown at him 3

Richard and Mayumi Heene got sentences this morning for wasting everyone’s time with their balloon hoax. (See here for a reminder if you’ve somehow forgotten that glorious week in October for which the highlight was video of a six-year-old boy vomiting on national TV.) The jail sentences are fairly light (Richard Heene is going to spend 30 days in jail full time only) but the couple is also being hit with mountain bills from the various local, state, and federal agencies that had their time wasted by this stupid bid for public attention. Per the article, the bill is currently sitting at $47,000, and could go up.

I think the judge for the case put it best:

“In summary,” Schapanski said in imposing Richard Heene’s sentence, “what this case is about is deception, exploitation — exploitation of the children of the Heenes, exploitation of the media and exploitation of people’s emotions — and money.”

Obviously the legal system in Colorado isn’t taking this one lightly. It’d be nice if Judge Schapanski could say similar stern things to, say, Peckman (he of the UFO commission ballot initiative) but I suppose wasting a lot of public time and money isn’t illegal if you’re just a deluded (yet arguably honest) crank.

3 thoughts on “Local: Heene gets the book thrown at him

  1. Reply Anonymous Dec 28,2009 00:58

    One thing I’ve noticed so far in researching is that papers that could answer that concern are few and far between. The EPA is also unhelpful on the topic; as the practice of hydraulic fracturing has been excluded from the Safe Drinking Water Act, the EPA isn’t in a position to look in to the safety from an environmental standpoint.

    This is precisely why there are so many people that have lots of problems with the information that is available on this subject. Many of the documents that you point to in your response are based on old data, old studies. Most, if not all of the NY State dSGEIS was based on 1999 studies; prior to the regular use of hydraulic fracturing in shales, which only began with some regularity about 10 years ago in Barnett, Texas. There is very little in the way of good quality, objective research on exactly what is going on underground during a high volume hydrofracturing operation in shales, that uses the kind of technology and volumes of water that were not in use on a regular basis until recently.

    The problem of all the water and chemicals left underground after fracturing is not even addressed by the NY State dSGEIS; any other industry leaving behind millions of gallons of fluid in the rock would be subject to geological impact requirements, and the gas industry is given an exemption, even though presumably the result of leaving such quantities of fluid behind is the same as another industry doing an injection of waste fluid into the rock. It is just semantics to suggest that somehow fracking fluid left behind is “different” than “injection” of industry waste; until studies are done considering the volumes and depths and types of formations that are in question, the notion of “trade offs” is a bit premature as the real impacts can’t be quantified.

    NYC just published its own report on this subject, done by an independent firm. You might want to see some of their arguments that counter much of the NY State dSGEIS. They make the case better than I can. See:


  2. Reply Rachael Dec 28,2009 01:19

    I’m not quite sure why you left the comment on this post rather than the one you quoted. o.O

    For the most part, fluid is fluid when it’s being injected in to a formation that’s isolated. I don’t think I have suggested that there’s a difference, and I certainly don’t support the exemption given to hydraulic fracturing fluids.

    Reading over the report linked, I think it makes some good points. Suggesting that underlying faulting/fracturing needs to be fully taken in to account prior to development is only reasonable.

  3. Reply Anonymous Dec 28,2009 07:07

    I have no explanation why my post ended up on this page…I am pretty certain I was on the correct page when I hit the comment button. Perhaps when I leave this comment here on the Heene page, it will wind up on the Fracking page..; – )

    Thanks for blogging about this topic. Your posts will be very helpful to people looking at this issue.

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