Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Fracking Could harm Oakland County Waters

May 2012 - Republican Commission Majority Refuses to debate Fracking Moratorium.

Issue languished in committee, then call to discuss defeated

(Pontiac) At the most recent Oakland County Commission board meeting on May 17, efforts by Commissioners Craig Covey, D-Ferndale, and Jim Nash, D-Farmington Hills, requesting debate of a resolution calling for a moratorium on natural gas fracturing, known as “fracking”, were defeated by the Republican majority. The vote to discharge the resolution, first presented by Commissioner Covey in the Fall of 2011, failed by a 15 to 9 vote.

Fracking is the highly controversial industrial mining process of retrieving difficult to access natural gas deposits by high pressure injection of vast amounts of water and chemicals deep underground. This process fractures the rock and shale, thereby releasing the natural gas. Government regulation of the practice is virtually non-existent. Many environmental groups, as well as government experts, believe ground water can be contaminated by the chemicals used. In neighboring states, fracking is believed by many to be causing unusual earth tremors and earthquakes in otherwise quiet areas of the strata.

The resolution would have asked the Michigan state legislature to consider a temporary moratorium on new permits for additional fracking operations until proper study can determine if regulations are necessary to protect the environment, including our state’s lakes and groundwater.

"We didn’t call to end current fracking operations, or even to ban future fracking,” said Commissioner Craig Covey. “We just wanted to talk about the need to consider holding off on potentially dangerous mining operations that could jeopardize Michigan water tables, lakes, and streams, including those in Oakland County.”
The state is opening up vast new areas for fracking leases right now, selling mineral rights in a rush to cash in, without knowing whether future generations could be harmed by the operations.

Organizations such as the Sierra Club, and Michigan Clean Water Action have taken strong stands against fracking operations.

Democrats unanimously supported the resolution. All but one Republicans voted no.