Monday, June 20, 2011

say NO to fracking in NC!

OK, so the picture is a little sensationalized, but I live in North Carolina and am a supporter of Environmental Working Group Action Fund. HB 242 and SB 709 provide for studies of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing -- a controversial process that is currently illegal in North Carolina. Energy companies may try to use this technique to tap natural gas trapped in shale formations underneath as many as 14 counties including Anson, Chatham, Davie, Durham, Lee, Granville, Montgomery, Moore, Orange, Richmond, Rockingham, Stokes, Yadkin and Wake. But first, they must change the law.

Used in more than 90 percent of natural gas and oil wells, hydraulic fracturing involves injecting a mix of water, sand and chemicals into a well under high pressure in order to fracture underground rock formations and unlock trapped gas and oil. In shale gas wells, like the ones that may be drilled in North Carolina, drillers can use up to eight million gallons of fluid per well. They also combine fracking, as it is called, with horizontal drilling in which the companies bore straight down into the earth and then steer the drill bit horizontally through the length of the shale.

Hydraulic fracturing has been associated with water contamination and property damage from Pennsylvania to Wyoming, so it is important that we carefully study the process before allowing it in our state. Both the Senate and House bills fail to provide for the necessary study because neither bill requires scientifically rigorous testing of water supplies near hydraulic fracturing operations. Nor do the bills require that state researchers review such testing conducted by others.

The lack of such testing was a major shortcoming in EPA's 2004 study of hydraulic fracturing of coalbed methane natural gas wells that was criticized by an internal whistleblower. This absence of data is perhaps the most significant gap in our understanding of fracking.

In addition, House bill 242 contains grossly inadequate provisions for ensuring that companies -- and not taxpayers -- cover the costs of any damage that drilling companies might cause. The bill requires companies to post a bond to cover potential damages of $5,000 per well plus $1 for each foot to be drilled. In North Carolina, these bonds could easily be in the range of $10,000 per well. In contrast, a natural gas company recently drilled several shale gas wells in Dimock, Pennsylvania, and polluted drinking water wells for 19 families.  The state estimated that it would cost nearly $12 million to route public water to their homes.

House Bill 242 and Senate Bill 709 do not require the type of scientific study of hydraulic fracturing that North Carolinians deserve and may leave property owners and taxpayers exposed to significant damage costs.

Considering our legislature is already eliminating rules governing wells, our public health is at risk.  I just wrote MY Governor Beverly Perdue to urge her to VETO House Bill 242 and Senate Bill 709.  I urge you to do the same.

The content of this blog entry was taken from the EWG form letter I sent to the Governor.  Feel free to also cut and paste/copy it into a letter to her also.  Or, just click the link above and it will form feed it and make an email to her also.  You can write your own email by clicking here and going to the governor's office email.

REMEMBER if you live in Anson, Chatham, Davie, Durham, Lee, Granville, Montgomery, Moore, Orange, Richmond, Rockingham, Stokes, Yadkin and Wake, the quality of your water depends on her veto!!!

1 comment:

  1. Hydraulic fracturing is a clean process but studies have shown that it contaminates the ground water so why not all the governments around the world stop using this process to extract natural gas or oil ?

    Bruce Hammerson

    Hydraulic Hammers



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