To the Editor:
The issue of fracking by the oil and gas industry — already one of the most controversial issues of our time — is not a political issue, but one which has the potential to forever alter the quality of life for each of us.
Our mountain area, source of pristine water for the region around us, is at risk. Our property rights have been placed in jeopardy by the new law. Farming and natural beauty would be permanently destroyed. There are reams of data about violations by industry in other states as well as negligence by the regulatory agencies.
But let us suppose that everything works exactly as the industry tells us it will. Let’s imagine for a moment that fracking in North Carolina is done in a perfect world. What then, can we expect to see?
• Drilling pads of many acres each, leveled from forest, farm land, and even state and federal park land to accommodate multiple wells.
• Multiple fracking towers at each well pad, their height dominating the landscape.
• Continuous — 24 hours a day — operation of compressor stations and fracking towers, with the attendant industrial noise and halogen lighting throughout the night.
• A constant flow of tanker trucks, greatly increasing the maintenance cost and the probability of traffic accidents on our roads.
• The quandary of what to do with the millions of gallons of water, arsenic, benzene and other toxic chemicals that are left after each frack. Only about 40 percent of these fluids can be recovered, the remainder being left in the ground to migrate as the local geology determines. That waste which is recovered is either placed in on-site surface ponds or trucked away in tankers to become some other community’s problem.
• Air pollution in the form of escaping methane, as well as the burning of undesirable gases at the well-head, an operation which may go on for weeks.
Again, I urge each of us to research the history and problems of fracking. If you have six minutes to watch Anson County’s fracking video, it is time well spent. Watch www.youtube.com/watch?v=ds3phzEPxhY&feature=youtu.be.
• If you have time, watch “Triple Divide” at vimeo.com/ondemand/tripledivide.
We are concerned not only about the future of Western North Carolina, but with seeing that the current law is reversed and fracking not permitted anywhere in our state.
Blue Mountain Engineering