In her letter to the editor, Marilyn Hakes essentially asked the question: Why would we stop natural gas fracking in our county? Let me provide some reasons.
First, this process requires huge amounts of water — water that we can’t spare. Second, the fracking process uses some 600 different dangerous chemicals to fracture the shale rock. Fifty to 70 percent of these chemical fluids are left behind, are not biodegradable and will immediately begin to leach out. The chance of contamination of our ground water is not insignificant. Finally, the waste fluids that are carried to the surface are left in open pits, where volatile organic compounds evaporate contaminating our air.
Now if you think these risks are not real, studies have shown that fracking has contaminated water supplies in several states including Wyoming, Texas, Colorado, Louisiana, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Residents living near U.S. fracking operations have filed over 1,000 complaints regarding bad tasting water, severe illnesses, fish kills and livestock deaths.
Think about what will happen to our county if we allow fracking to go forward and it does contaminate our drinking water. The cost of purifying our water and/or trucking in water from other sources will be exorbitant. Our health will be threatened, our economy destroyed and property values will plummet. Do we really want to chance that hydraulic fracking will not contaminate our drinking water? Personally, I don’t believe it is worth the risk. What do you think?
Gary W. Wester