Gas drilling poisoning people, pets and the planet

Editor:

It makes me scared, sad and sick that local land owners are signing away their mineral rights to gas drilling companies that were “granted explicit exemption — despite dissent within the EPA — from the Safe Drinking Water Act, the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act,” called the Halliburton Loophole, according to Vanity Fair, and can bypass all local zoning laws in Ohio, house bill 278.

Hydraulic fracturing injects millions of gallons of water, sand and poisonous chemicals into the earth at extremely high pressure, right through our drinking water. Trapped gas is released, along with about half of the fracking fluid that is “now replete with salt, heavy metals and radioactive materials — all of which,” Popular Science says, “pose health and pollution hazards.”

Wastewater is stored in open pits where it evaporates or it is trucked away. Dangerous chemicals are burned off directly into the air during the on-site compression process, according to Vanity Fair.

“According to Theo Colborn, noted expert on water issues, at least half of the chemicals known to be present in fracking liquid are toxic; many of them are carcinogens, neurotoxins, endocrine disruptors…” says Vanity Fair.

Besides all the above, methane can get into the ground water and also poison peoples’ wells. When mineral rights are sold, it decreases the value of that property and the neighbors’ properties. It is like selling the legs off of a table.

Plus, even though one lives in a residential or agricultural area, under Ohio law, a gas well head, which is an industrial site, can be placed within 150 feet from anyone’s house or school. No one is safe.

Even for a million dollars I would not sign a gas lease on my 15 wooded acres, which I affectionately call “The Land.” It is sacred and my role is to protect the land, me and the deer, wild turkeys, birds and other creatures that live here. Health is more important than money. There are land owners’ rights; however, there are human rights to clean water and air.

I understand that individuals need jobs, schools need cash and governments need revenues. However, hydraulic fracturing is a short term fix guaranteed to create long term expensive disasters to our health, environment and economy. Remember: Erin Brockovich, Love Canal, Nease Chemical.

Gas well drilling is like a massive dinosaur dragging itself across our country, gasping for breath and sucking out fossil fuels in its last attempt to maintain an archaic way of thinking that is poisoning people, pets and planet. As an individual, company or government there is only one question to ask: Whatever I am doing, will it help or harm the health of the planet, people and pets?

If that activity will harm, then it cannot be done, unless secure systems are put into place to eradicate or neutralize the harm. Whatever we do to the planet, we do to the people; DON’T SIGN A GAS LEASE!

Julia Fuhrman Davis

North Lima

7 Comments

  1. KeepItSimple says:

    >When mineral rights are sold, it decreases the value of that property and the neighbors’ properties

    It gets worse. All the landowners I hear about regret the decision to lease. . . .not to mention their neighbors! See the new slide show about Towanda PA (where hydrofracking is in full swing) on CNN Money, with sad photographs and captions such as “They regret their decision because they say their well water is now contaminated.” “a compressor, essentially a giant engine, on the well pad about 600 feet behind her house. . . runs nearly all the time, and causes her house to vibrate.” See http://money.cnn.com/galleries/2010/news/1010/gallery.pennslyvania/index.html I believe once the lawsuits start, property owners—the landlord—will not be sheltered by the lease arrangements and will be liable for the damage.

    Excellent, well-written article by the way.

  2. Dee says:

    Good letter. Keep in mind, too, that these companies are doing horizontal drilling. They may sink the well on one property, but the horizontal pipes may go hundreds or even thousands of feet in any direction, even onto neighboring property.

  3. okiestorm1 says:

    Oil and gas wells do not cause any more problems then the coal mines do.It funny that there are so many so called problems up here when its been going on for years in Texas and Oklahoma and they have had no problems like this.People need to know wjat thier talking about before they start bashing the oil and gas wells.People do not sell thier minersla they lease them for at least two years to the company,so much per acre and then they will get the royalties off the oil or gas produced. If anyone decides to do this they must be sure to read the contract carefully, do not take less then 500 an acre also.

    • Dee C says:

      Apparently, okiestorm1 knows nothing about how the governing of mines and minerals works–it only works to the benefit of the mining companies. They wrote the laws; they make the money. Every statesman needs to actually read their own state laws which regulate these companies. There actually is no recourse for the landowner in the law.

    • DontMessWithTX says:

      and, it is totally false that there have been no problems in OK or TX as a result of drilling there.

    • Lankster says:

      Oakiestorm1 Texas and all other western states HAVE had environmental problems due to oil and gas drilling. It’s well documented. Perhaps you should speak to people suffering the physical effects of the slow poisoning of their bodies from the air and water contamination.
      R.I.P. Chris Mobaldi, Colorado

  4. okiestorm1 says:

    Actually I do know how the minerals work. and the oil and gas companies, been around them all my life. My dad and brothers worked them and my huadband works them now. I also own land up here in Ohio , so yes I know how thangs work.I was trying to give people some advice on what to do before they think about leasing thier minerals to the oil and gas companies, but since I don’t know anything guess Ill just keep to myself and let you all figure it out on your own.

Leave a Comment

Receive emails as this discussion progresses.

eNewsletter

Get our Top Stories in Your Inbox

Recent News