|Fracking Site in Carroll County, Ohio|
At this early stage of my research, I have to stop right here. Chemicals? In 2011, according to House Energy and Commerce Committee, SEVEN HUNDRED FIFTY CHEMICALS are used in the fracking injection fluid, some being extremely hazardous to human health, such as benzene, lead, and diesel fuel. However, as I recognize the need for big change toward our betterment, I realize that perhaps big action as such might need to happen. So with an open mind, I continue.
As we all know the gas and oil industry is massively growing from fracking, thousands of jobs are predicted to be created in the near future. Our nation is rich with shale that contains natural gas, and now we have the means to extract it, which of course will bring in a huge revenue. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, whose department is in charge of mineral rights for 700 million U.S. acres, says that hydraulic fracturing “can be done in a safe way, in an environmentally responsible way, and in a way that doesn’t create all of the concerns that it is creating across the country right now”(Cook 1).
|Marcellus Shale Wastewater Sludge Ponds in New York|
This seems scary, right? Try watching video after video of footage from homes across the United States, all near monstrous drilling sites, all the residents explaining that before the drilling company came in, their water was fine. Now it smells bad, its often murky brown, and IT LIGHTS ON FIRE.
|Arkansas Shale Gas Production Related Earthquake 2011|
Aside from flammable tap water and earthquakes, are the people nearby the drilling and the residents whose land is being leased to the drilling companies reporting of the profit and benefits of their experience? Ms. Banks, author of “Fracking Nation” visit’s the area where gas drilling first started happening on a big scale, the Barnett Shale of Fort Worth, Texas. Now with about 14,000 gas wells in this region, “residents have complained for years of contaminated water, poor air quality, and unexplained health problems such as headaches, dizziness, blackouts, and muscle contractions” (Bank 65). In some towns drilling is set up within one mile of schools where children are suffering with chronic nosebleeds, dizziness, and nausea (Bank 65). The PennEnvironment Research and Policy Center reports that in Pennsylvania more than 3,000 gas fracking wells were within two miles of 320 day care centers, 67 schools, and nine hospitals.
|The Marcellus Shale|
|Sign a petition to keep Wayne National Forest safe from fracking.|
What would happen if we could all focus our energy toward a path that is truly sustainable? A recent study for a Green State Park Initiative offers invaluable advice, "Embracing methods to conserve energy through green building design or policy changes, such as wind and solar projects, also have the added benefit of saving scarce budget dollars" (Esprit and Smith 86). I believe this is the real solution for Ohio, our nation, and beyond.
|Ohio wind power|
|Green Grants are available to Ohio residents and corporations for solar energy systems|
Esprit, Cory St. and Langdon Smith. "The Green State Parks Initiative: Utilizing Pennsylvania State Park as a Case Study". Journal of Park and Recreation Administration 29.3 (2011): 86-100.
Marsa, Linda. "Fracking Nation." Discover. 32.4 (2011): 62-70. Academic Search Complete. Web.
15 Oct. 2011.