To the editor:
A petition urging me to oppose fracking in Massachusetts arrived in the mail two weeks ago from Food and Water Watch.
I had made up my mind before that after reading a report put out by the Sierra Club and articles on the internet.
Fracking is the process involving the extraction of gas from shale rock formations. A single new well can require drillers to use over 4 million to 8 million gallons of water, which is in short supply these days, mixed with sand and chemicals, some toxic, injected into underground rock formations.
This is akin to a “violent geological assault.” The exerted pressure cracks the rocks, allowing gas to escape and flow into wells or roam over the landscape. The toxic chemicals can contaminate local water when leaked or spilled into the ground. It’s highly flammable and methane leaks have caused houses and wells to explode, leading to deaths, injuries or loss of property.
Wastewater treatment plants aren’t designed to deal with this runoff, nor are fracking companies required to divulge the content of it. Some of it can be radioactive, containing up to 41 known chemicals that are toxic.
Big Oil and Gas are exempt from the Safe Drinking Water Act and the Clean Air Act, thanks to then-Vice President Cheney’s efforts. Processing and piping away the gasses to sell them commercially comes next.
Here on Cape Ann, fracking isn’t a problem. We live our lives on granite, not shale.
But but for friends and extended family, resistance and outright rejection should be the rule. Urge them to sign the petition, write letters to the editor and contact their legislators stating this opposition in no uncertain terms.
Chapel Street, Gloucester