Petoskey News Review August 31,2012
Think fracking is safe? Think again
Think fracking for natural gas is safe? Here’s what Cabot Energy had to say
about fracking in their report to the Securities Exchange Commission (2008 10-K
“Our business involves a variety of operating risks, including well site
blowouts; cratering and explosions; equipment failures; uncontrolled flows of
natural gas, oil or well fluids; fires; formations with abnormal pressures;
pollution and other environmental risks; and natural disasters. Any of these
events could result in injury or loss of human life, loss of hydrocarbons,
significant damage to or destruction of property, environmental pollution
This information, however, is not divulged to the public. Instead, we are fed
the TV version of the lady in the pant-suit extolling its virtues as clean and
If it’s so safe and clean, why did gas industry lobbyists lobby for and win
exemptions from seven environmental laws including the Clean Air Act, the Clean
Water Act and the Safe Drinking Water Act? If Michigan has such great
regulations to protect our environment, why is the gas industry exempt from
water withdrawal rules?
Industry claims ground water has never been contaminated in the fracking process.
Not true! Water is contaminated every time a well is fracked! 5-8 million
gallons of fresh water are mixed with toxic chemicals and sand to blow apart
the shale and release the gas. This water is now so toxic it can never be
returned to the hydrologic cycle. Just because the contamination is intentional
and part of the fracking process does not make the water any less toxic.
Gas industry subsidies and exemptions to environmental laws should be ended.
Level the playing field and allow sustainable energy technologies a chance to
Anne Zukowski, Charlevoix
Petoskey News Review 8-22-12
Fracking, benzene and safety
What would it take for you to leave your home? How much benzene is safe for your family to breathe?
These are questions that Calvin Tillman, the former mayor of Dish, Texas, asked the audience. On a tour of Northern Michigan sponsored by Don’t Frack Michigan and local conservation groups, Tillman told his story of how he fought to save his family and community from the devastating damage to property, health and the environment brought by the heavy industrialization process of Slickwater Deep Shale Fracking.
We know that war and famine drive people from their homes, but Tillman told a personal story of how the largely unregulated activities of the natural gas companies and the accompanying compression stations, venting gases, piping, trucking and drilling, made his children sick, and drove him from the “only home my kids had ever known. The home where we went to church, where our children went to school, the home we planned to raise our family in.”
According to Tillman, the root of the problem is that the oil and gas companies largely have written their own rules, and the regulatory agencies protect the industry rather than the public. He said fracking has exemptions to seven major health and safety laws (including the Hazardous Waste Disposal Rules, the Safe Drinking Water, Clean-up, Community Right to Know and the Clean Air Acts). And while the industry would like to focus attention deep below the ground, unconventional dense shale fracking uses hundreds of times the amounts of chemicals and water and land area. The devastating impacts of heavy industrialization occur in the communities, forests and rural areas above the shale plays.
JoAnne Beemon, Charlevoix
Northern Express Monday, August 20, 2012
Irony & Oklahoma
A lady from Oklahoma sent in a pronatural gas/fracking response letter in your August 13th issue. I wonder, do they have something called irony in Oklahoma?
I ask this because it makes perfect sense that someone from a dry, flat, hot, nearly treeless place like Oklahoma would want to vacation in a land of verdant forests, rolling hills and immense stretches of clean water like our Michigan. The irony comes in when she lectures us on how wonderful natural gas drilling/fracking is, and that those of us who are rightly terrified of it are “unenlightened.”
Lady, the only way we can keep this area a vacation/everyday living paradise is to stop fracking cold. Some state legislators who are just as enamored as you are with the joys of natural gas would have drilling rigs literally every square mile across most of our state. Which would then make us look an awful lot like Oklahoma. Which is ironic.
And p.s., when y’all head back south, make a side trip to a quaint little Texas town named Dish. The former mayor was just up here, trying to warn us. Talk to the few people still living there, the healthy ones at least. Breathe deeply. You could get enlightened.
Mark Contrucci • Boyne City
Northern Express Monday, August 20, 2012
The lives and livelihoods of Michigan residents depend on clean water. Purposefully poisoning our water by fracking seems like terrorist activity.
We would be safer from such activity if every block or home created its own energy with a combination of wind, solar, and Tesla like technology, in which there is no single source to take out.
Tesla Technologies are being utilized in Germany and other European countries. The U.S. held patents on Nikola Tesla’s inventions over 100 years ago, but failed or derailed the use of these machines in favor of “burning technologies” such as gas, coal and oil.
Across the border from Sault Ste Marie, Michigan, a huge array of Canadian windmills belittles our “land of innovation and opportunity.” Along the roads and highways of our own state we can see natural gas being burned off as “waste” from the oil industry.
The world’s most valuable resource, water, cannot be wasted by fracking, which could poison our natural aquifers.
Who is reaping the financial benefits of this activity? Certainly not the tourist or agricultural industries in Michigan. There are too many grave concerns and way too many healthier options (which present a greater opportunity for job creation and financial/ economic growth) to allow fracking anywhere.
Susan Prescott • Lake Ann
Northern Express Monday, August 20, 2012
Freedom of speech and freedom of the press have exposed a fearful fracking industry in Northern Michigan by means of its own public service propaganda-type advertisements. Thank you, Northern Express, for enabling this environmentally irresponsible organization (FriendsOfNaturalGasMI.com) to expose itself. I would even doubt that the road pictured on their ad is a Michigan road because it’s just not beat up enough.
Bruce Grossman • Lake Ann
Cheboygan Tribune 8-8-12
Slickwater Fracking dangerous
Thank you Cal Tillman, former mayor of Dish, Texas, for speaking about your experience with hori¬zontal fracking. Tillman’s presentations were attended by hundreds, both anti-fracking and pro-fracking ad¬vocates.
Tillman cautioned that property owners often can¬not stop fracking on their property, as the mineral rights may be owned by others. One homeowner in Cheboygan County was surprised to learn that the State owned the mineral rights to his property, with no say in who wins the lease.
Michigan’s environment, economy and public health are threatened dramatically by fracking as oil companies are exempt from Clean Air and Water Act regulations. They enjoy subsidies and exemptions from laws that renewables do not. Renewables cannot compete.
Once drilling begins, multiple wells are clustered to maximize profits. Poisonous gas leaks, chemical spills, blowouts, trucking accidents and carcinogenic air pol¬lution have been documented in a shocking number of normal drilling activities. On Christmas Eve 2011, a valve failure just south of Grayling resulted in hun¬dreds of calls to 911 centers from residents in Cheboy¬gan, Charlevoix, Boyne City, Petoskey, and Harbor Springs about the smell of gas — more than 80 miles from the source of the leak.
Each fracked well consumes more than five million gallons of fresh water, which becomes contaminated permanently and is removed from the natural water
cycle. These chemicals and radioactive sub¬stances, pumped into deep wells, risk contaminat¬ing fresh water supplies.
The State of Michigan has already auctioned off more than 500,000 acres of land (including in Cheboygan County) to gas and oil companies for possible well sites. This is an economic, health, and environmental threat to all of northern Michigan.
Say NO to slickwater fracking! Safeguards are not in place to protect the environment. Write and call City and County officials, U.S. Senators Levin and Stabenow, Congressman Benishek, Governor Sny¬der, State Senator Walker. Learn more at www.dontfrackmichigan.com
Sherry Nelson, Indian River
Cheboygan Daily Tribune 5-29-2012
Fracking dangers overblown
Addressing Joanne Cromley and Don’t Frack Jim Olsson’s May 22nd’s LTE
perpetuates the myths that the gas industry and DEQ continue to claim:
Myth: Hydraulic fracking fluids and products do not contaminate water
supplies or pose any threat to public health.
Fact: A 2011 Congressional Report from the House Energy and Commerce
Committee found that fracking fluids contained 750 chemicals. These fracking
fluids are injected into and near drinking water supplies.
According to the EPA toxic chemicals in fracking fluids include: polycyclic
aromatic hydrocarbons; methanol; formaldehyde; glycol ethers; hydrochloric
acid and diesel fuel, which contains benzene, ethylbenzene, toluene,
xylene, naphthalene and other chemicals. These chemicals have known negative
health effects such as respiratory, neurological and reproductive impacts,
impacts on the central nervous system and cancer.
Fact: 10,000 – 40,000 gallons of chemicals are used each time a well is
fracked. Each time.
Fact: Natural occurring deep shale toxins including radioactive elements
also come up to the surface in flowback fluid. Previously deeply buried
carcinogens are pumped into shallow rock formations at a level where ground
water and aquifers exist.
Fact: Each well emits air pollution; toxic gases such as benzene, radon, and
hydrogen sulfide are released into the air through flaring or venting of
wells, diesel-driven hydrofracking and pipeline compressors and continuous
Fact: In Michigan, we are surrounded by water and must remember that it
constitutes 20 percent of the world’s available freshwater. As fresh water
becomes scarce across the U.S. and the world, should we be wasting precious
water? Once water is fracked, it is irrevocable contaminated. It will never
be drinkable again.
Don’t take my word or anyone else’s, do the research then ask: Is this the
industry you want for Cheboygan? Is fracking the kind of legacy you want to
leave your children and grandchildren?
Joanne Cromley, Don’t Frack Michigan, Afton
Cheboygan Daily Tribune 5-22-2012
Fracking is dangerous
Jim Olsson’s LTE “Nobody Dies from Fracking” compares new Horizontal
Slickwater High-Volume gas fracking to a myriad of ways people are
killed. This comparison is an example of “apples to oranges”, thus misleads people.
Proponents calling for a ban of fracking have NEVER claimed people die
from fracking, although given time it could happen. Don’t Frack
Michigan, a local grassroots group through careful research states:
Fracking WILL permanently divert hundreds of millions of gallons of
fresh water from our wells, rivers, steams, lake aquifers and
Fracking WILL contaminate billions of gallons of clean water with
toxic chemicals (about 5 million gallons of water and 50,000 gallons
of chemicals per slickwater frack event.)
Fracking WILL necessitate thousands of relatively shallow injection
wells for hazardous slickwater flowback waste, now proven to cause
Fracking WILL execute the permanent removal of large quantity
withdrawals of freshwater from the hydrologic cycle of the Great Lakes
Fracking WILL pollute the air with routine flaring, off-gassing and
Fracking WILL lower property values.
Fracking WILL industrialize rural landscape.
Fracking WILL devastate the environment on an unprecedented scale with
projected 5-20 acre industrial frack pads, multiple (10-20) wells per
square mile and multiple fracks per well.
Fracking WILL be a Boom & Bust Industry.
Fracking WILL turn public and private recreation lands and state
treasures into private industry assets. The state forests that support
biodiversity of species will be fragmented and impaired.
The residents of Cheboygan County must ask: “Is this the kind of
economic development we want – or do we want to carefully choose
industry that allows the entire community of people, plants, trees and
animals to thrive for generations to come.
Joanne Cromley, Afton