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Monday, July 4,2011

Fracking has no legal barriers

To the Editor:

A lot of southeast Ohio citizens have heard that hydraulic fracturing (fracking) is coming to Ohio. Fracking involves injecting huge volumes of chemical-laden water into very deep wells, some of them horizontal, in order to extract natural gas from shale beds.

What a lot of citizens have not heard is that due to legislation passed in 2005, fracking is exempt from federal environmental laws such as the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act. All citizens should be concerned about this because there is the potential for devastating environmental damage to result from the fracking process.

For instance, in Wyoming where fracking has occurred, there is a new hole in the ozone. The dangers of loss of ozone are well known. In many places where fracking has taken place, the water supply has been rendered unusable. This is a very basic concern for everyone. If water in the area where you live becomes contaminated and toxic, what will you do? To find out more about the dangers of fracking and how to protect yourself, contact or Rachel Hyden, Clean Water Fellow, Ohio Sierra Club.

Elise McMath
New England Road


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It never ceases to amaze me how many people write letters about fracking when they are entirely clueless.  As I have written to other uneducated individuals writing on this subject, watchingt "Gasland" gives you no knowledge since almost all information they used is false.  The 2005 bill, which Obama himself voted for does not exempt oil and gas companies from any laws or acts of congress.  That was an entirely false statement from a movie chock full of false statements. 


Misstating the Law

(6:05) “What I didn’t know was that the 2005 energy bill pushed through Congress by Dick Cheney exempts the oil and natural gas industries from Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act, the Safe Drinking Water Act, the Superfund law, and about a dozen other environmental and Democratic regulations.”

  • This assertion, every part of it, is false. The oil and natural gas industry is regulated under every single one of these laws — under provisions of each that are relevant to its operations. See this fact sheet for a fuller explanation of that.


  • The process of hydraulic fracturing, to which Fox appears to be making reference here, has never in its 60-year history been regulated under the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA). It has, however, been regulated ably and aggressively by the states, which have compiled an impressive record of enforcement and oversight in the many decades in which they have been engaged in the practice


  • I suggest next time you write a letter to the editor, you should do at least a little research. 

You also assert (from the movie again) that water has become unusable.  Well, fracking was first done in 1949 and in the years since there has not been one case of fracking affecting water supplies.  Super environmentalist and administrator of Obama's EPA testified before congress that their 2 studies at a cost of 34 million did not find one single instance where fracking polluted any water source.  The DEP in Pa did a similar study and was disappointed when they too did not find such evidence. 


So in summary, your letter is a bunch of garbage rolled into a movie.  You also revealed your lack of knowledge when you claimed that drilling is sometimes diagonal.  In fracking it's always diagonal.  Josh Fox who produced the movie made the same mistake by mixing up oil drilling and fracking.  It's easy to be a liberal because you don't have to think for yourself.  You can just watch a distorted movie and declare yourself an expert.



It never ceases to amaze me how ridiculously hard-headed your comments regarding this issue are. YOU reveal your lack of knowledge on this subject when your "facts" are simply propaganda put out by the oil and gas industry. Energy in Depth is a campaign put out by America's oil and gas producers in an attempt to hide the truth about hydraulic fracturing. I shutter at the thought of how much money the industry has wasted telling people how clean natural gas is and how safe horizontal drilling is. It's shameful, really, how effortlessly you can lie through your teeth.

The truth is this method of drilling does have an effect on our clean water supply- these companies will tell you there hasn't been one documented case of contamination, but that doesn't mean that it isn't happening. A study done by Duke University documents methane contamination of drinking water associated with shale-gas extraction. Of course I'm sure you'll write this off as a study not worthy of your time. But folks, it is.

Please don't be fooled by the gas industries propaganda. Educate yourself on this issue, because at the end of the day this is your water, your air, your land and your life. Don't let them take that away from you.