On March 10 the following letter was sent to Governor Rick Snyder,
US Senators Carl Levin and Debbie Stabenow, US Representative Dan Benishek, 110
state representatives, 37 state senators, Harold Fitch (the top state regulator
of oil and gas wells), and President Barack and First Lady Michelle Obama.
Dear Governor Snyder,
We the undersigned, citizens of Michigan need and are asking for
your help. Our concerns are about the newly developed method of drilling for
deeply trapped natural gas called Horizontal Hydraulic Fracturing, or
We are aware of Michigan’s long history of natural gas production
and also of the recent discovery of potential for gas reserves in the
Collingwood & Utica Shale. To get this deeply-trapped gas, companies are
using the controversial slick-water or horizontal fracking form of drilling.
That requires not only very deep drilling but also requires the use of massive
amounts of fresh water, sand and a mixture of chemicals, which by law the
drilling companies do not have to disclose to local residents or governments.
40 – 70% of this contaminated water and chemical mixture returns to the surface
level where it must be stored in injection wells or disposed of in another way.
The rest of the polluted water and toxins remain in the earth. The extent of
the irreparable harm it will cause to Michigan’s water is a frightening
unknown. In other states fracking has resulted in horrific surface, ground and
drinking water contamination. It has devastated forests and increased air
Michigan’s abundant clean waters and forests are a basic reason
people choose to live and vacation here. Clean and safe water is also a basic
property right, and contaminated surface and ground water will negatively
affect property values. We must all work together to protect and safeguard that
which makes Michigan so unique.
The oil and gas companies sought and were granted an exemption
from the Safe Water Drinking Act and Clean Water Act. These federal exemptions
must be removed. The State of New York has issued a moratorium on slick water
fracking. We call on the legislature to ban the practice in the State of
Michigan. We, all of us at every level, must work together to insure the
protection of our natural resources and our environment. Michigan’s marketing
campaign, “Pure Michigan” is all about the quality of our exquisite
natural resources; however it’s up to all of us to keep it that way.
Join us in asking for a statewide ban on the practice of fracking.
Let us work together to protect what is essential for each of us – clean water.
Don’t Frack Michigan – Mary Reilly & Joanne Cromley, co-chairs
Cheboygan Democrats – Leonard Page, chair
Friends of the Jordan River Watershed – John Richter, president
Lone Tree Council – Michelle Hurd Riddick, member
Straits Area Concerned Citizens for Peace & Justice, Karen Martin, founder
Water & Air Team of Charlevoix – Bill Henne, president
Since March 10 the following organizations added their names to the call:
Food & Water Watch – Lynna Kauchek, senior organizer
Friends of the Boyne River – Mark Contrucci, board member
Michigan Citizens for Water Conservation – Terry Swier, president
Northern Michigan Environmental Action Council – Greg Reisig, chair
Water Action Vital Earth -Margaret Comfort, steering committee member