Gas and oil wells are a wonderful way to get fuel a cent or two cheaper per gallon. Fracking might save you one or two cents more until the earth around Moab is empty. Some tax and lease money will be very nice for the state and county to spend, while it lasts.
The old odd foreign man said, as he pointed to the pinnacles, cliffs and arches, “This is the King of the World” — not copper, uranium or gold, which will not last, but the rocks that are the king of the world. He spoke very little English; the best that he knew was “king.” His name was Aaron Andrew. He told John Henry Shafer, “The rocks will last forever – They are King!” He didn’t know of oil or fracking, which has a very good chance of causing earthquakes or tremors and causing many of the now-popular balanced rocks and delicate arches to collapse. The few pennies we get for taxes will be gone. The rocks, cliffs and fantastic scenery will last forever if they don’t fall from the ground quivering from settling down into the void that fracking and removing oil will cause. We can sell our scenery every day and still have it. As the old foreigner said, “This is King of the World!” Now the numerous amount of tourists proves he was right, if the fracking doesn’t cause the arches and much of Moab’s “kings” to fall.
I am sure all of the residents of the Moab Valley, and the short-time visitors as well, enjoy the smog from the great flames that burn most of the so-called “waste gas” from the oil wells that are proliferating all over our amazing canyon lands. It makes us wonder why gas is wasted, putting even more carbon into the atmosphere and further increasing global warming. Some of this “waste gas” does not burn and when the clear desert air currents are just right, we can enjoy the aroma of the burned and unburned “waste gas,” and yet we are not allowed wood fires to barbecue on. Aaron would turn over in his coffin if he knew this, as he loved this country very much.
Aaron Andrew carved a large rock, about 6 feet high, of a man on a horse looking across the valley at the fantastic cliffs that he loved. He called his carving “The King of the World.” The residents of Moab would not talk to him. They thought that he meant the carving was of himself and that he thought he was King of the World, although Aaron did not even have a horse, only goats. All the kids thought he was the greatest, but none of the adults, that I know of, would even acknowledge his presence. The only friend he had was Sog Shafer, who loved the canyons and cliffs also. It was Sog who told me all about him. I came to Moab in 1955.
Anyone wanting to know more can find many articles about “King of the World” and Aaron Andrew on the Internet.