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