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Major oil companies want to begin fracking — drilling for oil or gas by injecting water, sand and toxic chemicals into the ground to fracture shale — here in McLean County. They claim this process will create jobs and decrease our dependence on foreign oil.

Those arguments are simply not true. Studies show that oil companies bring in their own crews to do the work; few local jobs are created, and those are short-term employment at best. And much of the harvested oil and gas will be sold to other countries, such as Japan, where it sells for four times what the U.S. market will pay.

Even more important, fracking is dangerous — no matter what the oil companies say — and fracking ruins the environment.

One well can use up to 30 million gallons of fresh water. It is estimated that drilling in McLean County would completely drain Lake Bloomington in three years.

Fracked water can never be cleaned and never be consumed. Property values are destroyed. Who would buy a home with undrinkable water? Toxic chemicals are released into the air and soil. Farmland is ruined. Studies show an increase in birth defects, cancer and neurological disorders near drilling sites.

For more information, go to Illinois Peoples Action website. Talk to your friends and contact county and state officials about this serious threat to our lives. We can’t let this happen to our beautiful prairie and towns.

Karen Ament

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