Fracking (8)-52

No, fracking is not a "drilling method," and no, Business Editor John Cox did not claim it is. In this file photo, trucks line the Chevron fracking pad in Lost Hills during a hydraulic fracturing operation there.

Reader: Bakersfield is still a fairly conservative town, but your paper’s language and tone in reporting is substantially skewed toward the progressive (socialist/communist) mindset and is something we might expect in San Francisco.

Robert Price’s writing comes across as arrogant and condescending; it is considerably ill-informed. His myopia is clear.

It is hard to believe that John Cox actually talks to anyone in the oil business when he refers to steam fracturing of diatomite reservoirs as a “drilling method.”

Ditch the AP wire service for your world, national and state coverage. They are part and parcel of twisting analysis with partial facts for its “unbiased news” reporting.

Your syndicated opinion writers hardly reflect a decent blend of opinion. The progressive mindset pervades the columnists and very few — maybe one — are even somewhat conservative or liberty-minded.

One positive thing that we have gotten from The Californian: It informed us that the professors at CSU Bakersfield and Bakersfield College are wildly progressive and not worthy of recommending attendance for any student unless they are well-grounded, mature, and are pursuing a technical degree that would not require much humanities/ economics influence.

Consider serving your potential customer base with what they want rather than trying to push a product desired by fewer and fewer.

— Leslie and Kurt Koehler

Price: Giving readers "what they want" in news coverage is exactly why we have cable news companies that sometimes seem to be reporting on the affairs of two distinct, distant planets. Someone has to be working the middle, and The Associated Press is one of a handful that do it pretty well. I suspect you simply don't like what's going on in Washington and Sacramento. Meanwhile, we are striving to give readers "what they need" to be informed, fair-minded voters, whether they like that news or not.

Business Editor John Cox did not refer to fracking or steam injection as a "drilling method," as you claim. In fact, he very specifically called attention to an Associated Press story that made that error. Fact is, he might be the most knowledgeable oil reporter west of Houston, and he has written extensively about the controversial, post-drilling extraction process of hydraulic fracturing. I showed him your letter and he was, uh, highly animated.

If you can suggest a wire service more balanced and comprehensive than the AP, oil industry-related errors notwithstanding, I would like to hear it. Media analyses consistently find the AP among the fairest and most centrist of any in the U.S.

As for your other criticisms, I'm going to need examples. I make errors every day but it would be most helpful if you could cite a specific instance of my being ill-informed or myopic (other than the failure of clarity I'll admit to shortly).

The Californian skews toward the communist mindset? Good one. Example, please.

I like your term "liberty-minded." To me, that means reporting the news honestly, without pulling punches or catering to partisan constituencies. It means listening to both sides and judging on the merits. It means going into the voting booth with an understanding of the issues and a respect for the process. That's what we're trying earnestly to support here.

I hope that wasn't too condescending or myopic.


Reader: You have to be an old Bakersfieldian to sift through Robert Price’s white code regarding a new Bakersfield city manager ("New city manager's chief qualification must be vision," Dec. 4). What Price really means by "vision" is the new person has to set his priorities by the old ways of outgoing City Manager Alan Tandy.

In Price's white man’s code, the successful candidate must be white, Republican and Christian in the Trump mode. Price understands, as well as any other conservative Christian Republican, that if you lack financial wealth, your side is just a mob.

— Panfilo Fuentes

Price: You don't read my code very well. When I write that we need to diversify the local economy in a way "that sustains and broadens prosperity," I'm talking about creating opportunity for those who may be something other than white, Republican or Christian, as well as those who are. You didn't directly include "male" in my alleged white code specifications, Pete, but when I write about "the new chief executive, whoever he or she may be," I'm suggesting we need not hire yet another man, either.

In that column, by the way, I wrote that "the ad-hoc screening committee of councilmen Chris Parlier, Bruce Freeman and Ken Weir will formally confer with the broader council Dec. 16." That understandably created the impression that the committee was eliminating candidates before the entire council had a chance to consider them. That was not the case. The committee screened candidate-search companies, not the candidates themselves, and brought their recommendation to the council for approval. The story has been updated online to eliminate the confusing sentence.


Reader: I read the responses ("All over the city, they're fed up with street racing," Nov. 30) to your column on street racing ("Deafening street racing has southwest Bakersfield residents fed up," Nov. 20). No one mentioned the street speeds, all of which are high. In my general neighborhood, Old River Road, Gosford-Coffee Road and White Lane are all 55 mph; Ashe Road and Allen Road are 50 mph; Ming Avenue and Stockdale Highway are 45 mph; and Buena Vista Road is 40 mph. If these speeds were reduced it would give drivers less incentive to run red lights and, I am certain, cause less accidents. Street racers might think twice. City Council take notice.

— Rex E. Morton

Reader: I cannot sleep anymore because of all the street racing and doughnut-spinning people have been doing in front of Golden Valley High School, near my house. The police need to drive out here and just see what's happening to that street. Then they race north, up Monitor Street from Golden Valley High School to Berkshire Road. They wait for the light to turn green and then they take off. Please, someone needs to come and check this. There is no sleep for me from about 10 o'clock at night until 11.

— Patsy Ary


Reader: The public often assumes that oil, with all its dangers, is the economic backbone of Bakersfield and surroundings ("Is the end of Kern oil production really upon us? Sure sounds like it," Aug. 11, et al.). Yet the poor are most affected by the climate trauma caused by fossil fuels.

Did you know, Mr. Price, putting a national price on carbon to cut emissions would help save the biosphere and help all of us, rich and poor? And without sacrifice.

To those who reject the science: Perhaps nothing will change their mind. But what have they got against cleaner air, less asthma in our kids, fewer heart attacks and more money (the dividend) in their pockets?

There is no debate among published climate scientists! Why even bother with the paid deniers and front groups who thrived by creating the delay of false climate arguments?

— Jan Freed

Price: The public correctly assumes that oil is the economic backbone of Bakersfield and surroundings. That doesn't mean we shouldn't be working to lessen its effects on climate and health, or our reliance on it as the fuel of our local economic engine. The carbon fee, which has bipartisan support in Washington, including among several Democratic presidential candidates, could be a useful tool, but we need other, cleaner economic drivers in Kern County no matter what else may transpire. That has been the point I keep harping on.

The Californian’s Robert Price answers your questions and takes your complaints about our news coverage in this weekly feedback forum. Questions may be edited for space and clarity. To offer your input by phone, call 661-395-7649 and leave your comments in a voicemail message or email us at Include your name and phone number; they won’t be published.

(6) comments


What "yorkies 2014" said. See you ALL at the polls! Do your homework with an open mind. Note important facts. Decide who you want based on these facts and what is right for the nation. VOTE! Encourage/ pass the elimination of the electoral college so your vote does count.


First off, a shout out to Panfilo Fuentes. I didn’t even know that guy was still alive.

Journalism by nature is not a purely truth based activity or profession. Telling only part of the story, presenting things said out of context, or straight out lying are what helps the majority of journalists and their employers make money. You can argue against that all day long, but for the majority of journalists and their employers, that is a fact. We all need to keep that in mind when we read or watch what these people produce because it may or may not be true.


Too many, particularly on the populist right, confuse affirmation with information. Journalism that portrays facts unpleasant to the right wing narrative is dismissed as "fake news." Right wingers see a different reality because they simply and stubbornly refuse to consider demonstrable facts as facts insisting that they are clever fabrications of the "deep state" or some elaborate creation of the left wing.

Inconvenient Truth

“Unpleasant Facts” like the fact that Democrat journalists outnumber Republican journalists my more than 4 to 1?

Yes, that is indeed “Unpleasant.”


Congratulations, Mr. Price! When you get called a condescending communist (did I miss “elitist”?) and an ultra-conservative, bible thumping old white guy (sounds like code for “Okay, Boomer”) on the same day, you know you’re doing something right.


I like to see people who are passionate about what they read, especially considering that the Bureau of Labor Statistics (2018) indicates that Americans between 15 to 44 read for an average of only 10 minutes (or less) per day. Unfortunately, reading with passion and reading with comprehension require two different skill sets. Thank you for continuing to provide us with opinions and information, as well as a great deal of humor - intended or not.


I do like the view through my rose-colored glasses...Vote Blue in 2020...its time to send Donald home to his gilded florescent lit castle with the hi flow toilets and end his madness

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